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Bermuda College graduates told to keep challenging themselves

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The Bermuda College Winter Commencement Ceremony took place at the college (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
The Bermuda College Winter Commencement Ceremony took place at the college (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
The Bermuda College Winter Commencement Ceremony took place at the college (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Dejaneé Hill-Edwards, a guest speaker at the Bermuda College winter commencement ceremony (Image supplied)
Kristina Burrows, a speaker at the Bermuda College winter commencement ceremony (Image supplied)

Bermuda College graduates were today encouraged to embark on a “journey to purpose” and inspire future generations to be great.

Dejaneé Hill-Edwards, a guest speaker at the college’s Winter Commencement ceremony and an underwriting assistant at reinsurance firm Arch Re, said the pandemic had given her time to think about what her legacy might be.

She said: “The silver lining of the Covid-19 pandemic is that it has allowed us to have more time to reflect.

“Too often, we are caught in a cycle of forward thinking – what will happen next – forgetting that understanding the past is key to understanding the present, which in turn shapes our future.

“I found myself reflecting on my legacy, what will be my impact in this world?

“Many opportunities have been afforded to me through my career journey thus far. I am able to represent Bermudians like myself and have the ability to empower and inspire others.”

Twenty-four students graduated in the second Winter Commencement ceremony at the college.

The crop of graduates were said to be “exceptional“, with 50 per cent of them achieving either a merit, a GPA of 3.0 to 3.49; or a distinction, a GPA of 3.5 to 4.0.

The college also highlighted 19 students who graduated last semester from transfer partner universities.

Ms Hill-Edwards, a 2016 graduate of one of the first dual-enrolment courses at the college, told the new graduates to take time to enjoy the journey – “both the good and the bad”.

She added: “A meaningful part of my journey to purpose was allowing myself to fail, understanding that from failure Is the opportunity to learn.”

She told the graduates: “Ground yourself in your purpose, be intentional in the choices that you make today as they shape the future that you are building tomorrow.

“Challenge yourself every day to learn more about yourself and explore deeper into what drives you to continue on your journey.

“This is number of one of the many key lessons I have learnt in my journey to purpose.”

Kristina Burrows, who graduated with an associate's degree in business administration, congratulated her fellow graduates on beating the odds despite many barriers.

Ms Burrows said: “Whether these barriers were considered to have been financial hardship, family disputes, mental or physical health issues, the struggle of online learning, the stress of Covid-19 and other implications brought to us, despite the odds, success was inevitable.”

She admitted: “Fear has definitely held me back from many opportunities until one day I told myself, ‘this is enough’. ”

She told students: “Let’s live life, let’s prioritise the value of life and break the habit of allowing fear to stop great opportunities. Let’s break those barriers of procrastination, self-doubt and second guessing.

“There is no excuse acceptable – turn your fears into motivation.”

There was an increase in the number of students who completed their courses in the autumn semester because internships and practical-experience segments were delayed.

The largest group of graduates was from the Division of Nursing and Allied Health - seven graduates earned Associate of Science in Nursing degrees at a traditional pinning ceremony on Monday.

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Published January 21, 2022 at 7:44 am (Updated January 21, 2022 at 7:44 am)

Bermuda College graduates told to keep challenging themselves

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