Graduation, each year, is a very important time for me.
Unfortunately, for the first time, my batteries died in my camera so I couldn't take pictures!
However, I want to congratulate all of the Passaic County Community College graduates for 2009. To all of you I saw (Luis, Juan, Fady, Cindy, Tina, Roy, Christian, David, Andrew, Gayatri, Samantha, and everyone else I am surely forgetting) and those of you who couldn't attend, congratulations. PCCC's President, Dr. Rose, quotes a statistic that less than 33% of Americans have a college degree, so to all the graduates, congratulations on joining the top 33% in terms of education in the country.
I think the thing that really drew me to PCCC was that I personally grew up in a family where neither of my parents had gone to college. I was the first Cameron to even go to college, let alone complete a Bachelor's and then a Master's degree. I filled out college applications and financial aid paperwork myself, since my parents didn't really understand all the paperwork. I didn't "come from money", as they say, and without scholarships and loans I would not have even made it to college, let alone made it to the point where I am teaching at one.
While some of you may move on, I am sure some of you are already planning on using the alumni program to get reduced-price classes. If you are transferring, remember that some schools (FDU and NJIT, for example) will let you transfer up to 96 credits towards a degree, so if there is a way you can cut costs using this program, I encourage that!
Congratulations to all the graduates of the PCCC class of 2009!