■ Mary Ann Morris / Editor
MSJC honored the achievements of 1,356 graduates and their families during its 2017 commencement at the Ramona Bowl in Hemet. The college awarded 2,109 associate degrees and 137 career certificates; many students earned more than one degree or certificate or a combination.
Two MSJC student speakers addressed the graduating class with words of passion and inspiration during this year’s commencement.
“I have constantly been told by my loving mother, ‘a escuela es lo mas importante para saler adelante a un buen futuro y luchar por todas nuestras metas,’ which means school is the most important thing in order to get ahead in life and build a good future and to fight for all our goals,” said Janet Plata-Mora of San Jacinto. “An education can allow you to reach heights that some people just dream about.”
Hope Graham, 25, of Temecula, said she plans to become a corporate lawyer and wants to be a good role model for her daughter. The honors student said she enjoyed her time at MSJC.
“The school does not put a limit on its students and that is the greatest feature about being an MSJC student…being limitless,” Graham said.
Raul Garcia said attending Mt. San Jacinto College opened the doors to experiences he never imagined. Garcia, who attended the San Gorgonio Pass Campus, is the first in his family to graduate from college.
He reflected on his journey as he prepared for commencement on May 26, calling it emotional and giving him a sense of accomplishment after two years of hard work.
This year’s graduation theme was “How will you change the world?” Garcia, 22, answered the question this way: “I will change the world by helping others when it’s needed and advising them to do better.”
Sean Sinderholm, 30, of Menifee, was the first deaf person to graduate from MSJC’s new Interpreter Preparation Program. Sinderholm said he plans to earn his bachelor’s degree in deaf studies and credited his instructors.
“Leslie Greer and Jeremy Rogers of American Sign Language Department both encouraged me to become a Certified Deaf Interpreter and obtain a master’s degree in the future,” said Sinderholm.