For the past three years, Laura Driver took classes at Austin Community College and worked two jobs, while also being a single mother to 4-year-old Isaac. On the night she earned her diploma, Driver knew it was all worth it.
“ACC helped me get one step closer to reaching my goal of teaching children,” says Driver, who earned her associate degree in teaching education. “My son has had such a huge impact on my life. Everything I do is for him and to give him a better life.”
Driver was one of hundreds of students who crossed the stage at the Frank Erwin Center during ACC’s spring commencement ceremony on May 9.
This spring, more than 1,300 students applied for graduation. The number of graduates has increased significantly in recent years, with more than 2,600 students graduating in 2011-12 – up almost 63 percent over five years ago.
“As a college president, graduation is one of my favorite times,” says Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC president/CEO. “To see the pride on these students’ faces, to see the joy of their friends and family – it’s a great feeling, and we’re so proud of all that our students have accomplished.”
Commencement speaker Andres Alcantar, chairman and commissioner representing the public of the Texas Workforce Commission, told graduates that the skills they gained at ACC can be used throughout their careers. He added that now is a great time to be searching for a job in Central Texas, where ACC has helped the commission fill the needs of the workforce.
“The American dream requires hard work and dedication, and it requires a commitment to excellence,” Alcantar said in his speech. “But that’s the beauty of America – it rewards accomplishments, and it rewards commitment.”
Driver’s commitment to earning her degree has paid off, as she is now enrolled at Texas State University. She plans to complete her bachelor’s degree next year. She advises other ACC students “to not give up. Always remember there is a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Check out photo’s from the ceremony on Flickr or view this slideshow:
posted in: ACC Newsroom, Banner Stories, Current Students Feature, Faculty and Staff Feature