The voice was small but clear as it came across Zorn Arena during the Chippewa Valley Technical College commencement ceremony on Tuesday, December 20. “Love you Mom” was heard as a nursing graduate crossed the stage to receive her diploma.
The stories are so diverse, but the proud faces of the 350 graduates from over 36 programs said it all. They all know they’ve accomplished something great in their lives, and they are all excited to see what their next step will be. Much of what the graduates were thinking was summed up in what student speaker Taylor Hayes mentioned during her speech. “We all had a goal in mind as we entered CVTC. But actually achieving our goals is priceless.”
Taylor, a Menomonie native, is part of the first group graduating from the newly redesigned Barber Cosmetologist program. “I’m exciting to be graduating knowing I have already started my career,” stated Taylor, who started working at Regis in OakWood Mall about a month ago. “But we’ll see what the future holds. Maybe I’ll want to own my own business or get my manager’s license. But for now, I’m going to enjoy this moment.”
Heather Post from Chippewa Falls already had a degree in business, but was unable to find a job she really liked. Now with her Associate Degree in Nursing, her future is looking very bright. Heather will be working at Dove Healthcare as a registered nurse. “It was a hard journey,” commented the married mother of two. “With all the activities with my kids, and balancing work and school, it was a struggle. But I learned to prioritize and now it feels very rewarding.” Heather would like to go back to school eventually and get her bachelor’s degree to potentially get into a leadership role in healthcare.
Mary Thatcher, a Knapp native, had worked in the accounting field for over 20 years, but wanted to finally get her degree. “I chose CVTC because of the flexibility of the online classes. That made it easier with three kids at home,” Mary said. “My daughter and I started at CVTC at the same time and she has been my motivation to get through!” Mary, along with her husband, opened Connection Transport and Accounting in March and the business is doing well. “I spent many evenings doing homework on the kitchen table, and now to actually apply what I’ve learned into the business is exactly what I was looking for.”
Mark Franson, Vice President at Bartingale Mechanical and CVTC alum, addressed the students and reflected on how CVTC has affected his own business. “When I think about it, our company’s success has a lot to do with the skills taught at CVTC. We have a number of CVTC graduates on staff, including offices managers, service technicians, plumbers, presidents, and the list goes on.”
“You are not the same person you were when you first came to CVTC,” President Bruce Barker stated to the graduates. “You are now a new and improved version of yourself. You’ve shown that you can reinvent yourself. The future is yours.”
Visit CVTC on Facebook to see photos from this event.
CVTC Bruce Barker, in the above photo, congratulated student speaker Taylor Hayes.