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Southeast College celebrates grads from its Estevan campus

Students graduated from several different programs.

ESTEVAN - Southeast College celebrated its 2023 graduates in Estevan last Friday.

The formal graduation and awards celebration was hosted at the Estevan campus to recognize the achievements of Southeast College students. The ceremony that wrapped up the chain of celebrations for the college also saw the first international students graduating.

College president and CEO Vicky Roy was the master of ceremonies. The day saw a prayer by Jody Holzmiller, who is the vice-president professional training and continuing studies, and speeches by Roy, Cannington MLA Daryl Harrison, as well as board chairwoman Donna Nyeste and valedictorians.

"Wherever you go, always be proud of your roots and where you come from," Roy said in addressing the graduates. "You're a part of the family of Southeast College. This moment marks the culmination of countless hours studying, numerous challenges overcome and [an important moment in] your personal academic growth.

"It is important to acknowledge that success is not solely defined by individual accomplishments, but by the positive impact of our communities and the world around," she continued. "Graduates, you have the power to drive change and social innovations. You can challenge the status quo and create a better future for all here in Saskatchewan, in Canada and also in the world. As you step into the professional world … remember to embrace diversity, foster inclusivity and champion social justice … You can be the shakers and movers, you are the next generation of leaders in this province and in this region."

Harrison spoke on behalf of the minister of education.

"The Government of Saskatchewan is proud to work with Southeast College to provide high-quality education and training opportunities to help students in their future careers," Harrison said. "Grads, your experience here will allow you to transition into the next chapter of your life. As you look ahead, know that Saskatchewan offers many opportunities to build your careers and lives right here at home."

Nyeste spoke on behalf of the board of governors.

"The graduation is … a huge accomplishment for you, your family and your extended group of supporters. Dedication, perseverance and sacrifice have brought you to this momentous moment, and you should be incredibly proud of yourself and feel confident that your education received here at Southeast College is valuable, vital and will serve you well as you pursue through the rest of your lives," said Nyeste

The college had two valedictorians address the graduates this year. Edralyn Duron, who graduated from the adult basic education (ABE) program, and international student Imele Virador, who graduated from continuing care assistant, program spoke to graduates, their families and friends, and college staff.

"Today's truly ours," said Duron, continuing by thanking the teachers and all the supporters that helped the grads make it to the day. "The future is really in our hands. So, let's make the most of it."

In her emotional speech, which Roy described as a "story of resilience and hope", Virador also thanked everyone who helped the students to get through the year, and spoke about what it feels like to be an international student and all the challenges and success of their experience.

"We forget that we all have the choice to believe that we can do it. If we want to have a change, we have to take risks," Virador said.

The speech wrapped up with standing applause.

Graduating ABE students in Estevan were Amali Agampodige, Christine Briones, Duron, Mohammed El Kaissoumi, Danielle Noble, Rolando Patron, Irsih Penano and Danica Wamboldt.

Essential skills for the workplace graduates were Sujung Koo and Crystal Hall.

The continuing care assistant program saw 11 graduates, including Reagan Anderson, Breanne DeBruyne (also presented with a congratulatory letter and sash by Métis Nation–Saskatchewan Local No. 25), Joyce Espina, Rebecca Friesen, Trinity Maser, Nicole Meyer, Juan Padilla, Jonalyn Santos, Santana Sherring, Erika Valencia and Virador.

Continuing care assistant part-time program graduates were Amalia San Juan, Cecil Cabahug, Cherry Katherine Abucayan, Fenella Powell, Fe Rabanes, Jesse Ravanera, Mwamvita Ally Kidabu, Nichole Farrel and Tessa Macalos.

The 2023 industrial mechanic graduates were Joshua Alexander, Mitchell Mayson and Tyler Weger-Brandow.

The heavy equipment and truck and transport technician program graduated Johnloid Alvento, Kaleb Bzdel, Raymart Flores, Connor Frijouf, Thomas Huang, Saw Min, Nathan Mus, Christian Santos and Payden Thurlow.

The college also celebrated the July 2022 heavy equipment operator graduates Garret Desnomie, Davis Dietze, Kelsey Goudy, Ryan Lauf, Reesa Littlechief and Joshua Petrychyn; as well as April 2023 heavy equipment operators Rylan Baun, Ryan Brotzel, Griffin Dougall, Crystal Hall, Jordan Kriecs, Kelly Neufeld, Daniel Pierce, Lindon Schiestel and Edsel Villacencio.

The presentation of the certificates was followed by a scholarship ceremony and a light lunch.