HOULTON, Maine — Diplomas and gifts were bestowed to graduating students from the Houlton Higher Education Center Friday evening during a special ceremony at the school.
A total of 14 students were saluted for earning college degrees from the University of Maine at Presque Isle and Augusta via the Houlton learning center.
“Graduates I would like to welcome you this evening as we celebrate your accomplishments,” said Tracy Rockwell, director of the HHEC. “We also want to welcome your family and friends. We thank you for supporting them over the last few years as they were on their educational journey.”
Chelsea Henderson of Hodgdon served as the guest speaker for the ceremony. Henderson, who herself is a graduate of the HHEC, earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2012 from the University of Maine at Augusta. She is vice president of human resources at F.A. Peabody Company.
“I started out my career with big goals and big expectations, not knowing if I would ever achieve any of them,” she said. “But I decided it all had to start with my education.”
Henderson encouraged the graduates to not be afraid of lateral career moves, but cautioned that too many lateral moves in a short period of time does not reflect well on a resume.
Each graduate was presented with a gift bag with several items of significance, explained by Jean Henderson, student services coordinator.
“I’d like to share what they have in their kits,” Henderson said. “Juicy Fruit gum, to remind you to stick to it with a smile; a candle to remind you to shine brightly; a pin to stay sharp; a band-aid for when things get tough; an eraser to remind you to start every day with a clean slate; a paper clip to help you hold things together; a smooth stone to remind you that rough times help to refine and polish; a star to shine and always try your best; a sponge to soak up all of your knowledge; a button, to remind you that sometimes you have to button your lip; Tootsie Rolls, to remind you not to bite off more than you can chew; Life Savers for when you feel like you are drowning; an assortment of candy, to help you appreciate the differences in others; Post-It Notes, to make notes of your accomplishments; some change, to remind you that a bit of change can jumpstart a career; a rubber band, to help you be flexible; a Sharpie pen, to record all of your ideas; a nail file, to sand away any rough spots; matches, to ignite your ideas; a highlighter, to highlight your ideas; and a globe, so you know the world is yours to explore.”
Graduating with bachelor degrees from UMPI were: Coral Botting, biology; Chelsie Hand, history; Angelina Jackman, criminal justice; Thomas Jordan, history; Bethany Millet, business; Rhonda Smart, criminal justice; and Terri Weed, history.
UMA graduates were: Amanda Crane, associates in liberal studies; Debra Hopewell, associates in mental health and human services; Craig Lincoln, associates in justice studies; Morgan Albert-Denbow, bachelor’s in business management; Patrick Blanchette, bachelor’s in mental health and human services; Crystal Langlois, bachelor’s in mental health and human services; and Robin McNally, bachelor’s in mental health and human services.