Volume 47, Number 1 - August 24, 2009

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Rebeka Silva
Rebeka Silva

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MDC Graduates Take Their Final Walk

By Rebeka Silva

Laura C. Moral, Anahi Cortada
Pictured L to R, Laura C. Morel and Anahi Cortada
Graduation ceremony
More than 950 students attended the North Campus graduation ceremony this past May.

More than 9,000 students from eight Miami Dade College campuses participated in six graduation ceremonies this past May.  At the North Campus, 950 students took to the stage at the Bank United Center in Coral Gables.

Alberto Ibargüen, President and CEO of John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, gave the commencement address.

“Work hard, embrace change, do something you love and act like you own your life,” Ibargüen said. “You are the future of this town, so today start acting like you own it.”

Two Miami Dade College students, both former staff members of the Falcon Times, received special recognition during the ceremony.

Anahi Cortada, who served as Falcon Times managing editor last school year, received the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke scholarship. Cortada will receive $60,000 to continue her education.

“Getting the scholarship is shifting a burden from my shoulders because I will not have to get in debt in my undergraduate years,” said Cortada, who will be attending Georgetown University this fall.

Cortada migrated from Cuba five years ago. She was one of 800 students who applied for the scholarship.

“The hard work always pays off and at this moment I could not feel more grateful for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, and all those that [have] supported me and of life,” Cortada said.

Former Falcon Times editor-in-chief, Laura C. Morel, was awarded the North Campus District Board of Trustees Scholarship, a $2,500 award.

"I couldn't believe they had chosen me for the award; I kept saying it wasn't me,” said Morel, who will be attending Emerson College in Boston this fall. “But I was very happy; I started crying.”

But the tears were full of joy and pride for the graduates.

“As I stood in my gown and looked around to see my friends and family, the first thought that came to mind was "I did it!" All the hard work that at times seemed never-ending finally paid off,” said graduate Richard Lopez.

This year’s graduation ceremony included everything from videos filled with photos of graduates, music and glow sticks.

North Campus President José Vicente wished the graduates well and asked them to remember where their journey had begun.

“Don’t forget where your higher education started,” Vicente said. “Right here at Miami Dade College.”

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Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
Miami Dade College is an equal access/equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, marital status, age, religion, national origin,
ethnicity, pregnancy, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, or genetic information.
Contact the Office of Director, Equal Opportunity Programs, ADA and Title IX Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for assistance.