“Corny as it may sound, I believe in the American Dream… the idea that in America a person can better themselves with nothing more than sheer hard work…” said Amanda Mitchell, a 2004 Lone Star College Kingwood graduate. Mitchell delivered the commencement address at the 34th annual graduation ceremonies on May 9. Mitchell is representative of a number of students who have taken advantage of the various unique programs offered by the College in an effort to accomplish their goals. Student speaker Lakeisha Calhoun called the class of 2008, a “generation of planners”. In a new Lone Star tradition, commencements were held for the second year in a row at local college district campuses. Kathy Adkins, Lone Star College, estimated attendance at over 2000 at the Kingwood College graduation ceremony. Adkins said another change to the program was the inclusion of deaf interpreters at the event in deference to the first two graduates of the evening. Miriam Thiessen and Mathew Gaddis are both deaf. Thiessen received an Associate of Applied Science in Visual Communication -Graphic Design, while Gaddis received an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts. Also standing about among the graduates was Joseph Harrison III. Harrison’s small children watched as he received an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts. Harrison plans to continue his studies after leaving Lone Star. “I want to give back to the community, maybe work with children.” Lone Star College System consists of five colleges, including CyFair, Kingwood, Montgomery, North Harris, and Tomball, six centers and Lone Star College-University Center. With more than 49,200 students in credit classes last fall, LSCS is the third largest community college system in Texas. Kingwood College opened in 1984 and has “distinct offerings in interior design, respiratory care and dental hygiene”. The college system will award an estimated 3,200 degrees and certificates this year. Photo 1: Nursing school graduate Nora Gonzalez with sister Victoria, a local high school student. Photo by Kim Melchor Photo 2: Lone Star College graduate Joseph Harrison III with daughter Zoey. Photo by Kim Melchor Photo 3: Miriam Thiessen, and Mathew Gaddis. Photo by Kim Melchor Photo 4: Grace Dada sings the national anthem to the accompaniment of deaf interpreters.

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