TCL graduates learn persistence pays off in mortar boards and degrees

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TCL graduates learn persistence pays off in mortar boards and degrees

By KATE CERVE kcerve@beaufortgazette.com 843-706-8177
Published Friday, May 14, 2010   |  339 Words  |  news

To its students, TCL now stands for more than Technical College of the Lowcountry.
Graduate Tylecia Westbrook, in her address to the college's Class of 2010, gave the letters new meaning at Friday's commencement ceremony.
She said the "T" stands for teamwork and students' willingness to pull together to pass their most difficult classes.
The "C" represents the courage it takes to walk through the door of the admissions office and keep going after receiving a poor grade.
And the "L" stands for the nights spent writing papers and finishing homework long after the rest of the family has fallen asleep.
Like many TCL students, Westbrook balanced her responsibilities as a wife and mother while she pursued her associate degree. But she said she wouldn't change a thing.
"Know that we did it," she said. "We overcame obstacles. We persevered through our problems, and we conquered our challenges."
TCL honored 352 graduates receiving degrees, diplomas and certificates in arts and sciences, business technologies, health sciences and industrial technologies at the Parris Island All-Weather Training Facility on Friday.
Many of those graduates are non-traditional students, said Arthur Brown, chairman of the school's commission. Most worked, often full-time, while they continued their education.
W. Joye Hardiman, storyteller and scholar, delivered the commencement address. Hardiman, a founding member of the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations, spoke about contemporary applications for ancient wisdom and offered advice through fables.
"As you go into the world, change it by doing your part," she said. "Hold up your piece of the sky."
Prince Norton, an investigator for the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office and a single father of two, earned his associate degree in criminal justice with honors. He was the first in his family to earn a college degree and hopes to one day go to law school.
"This just represents so many things to me," he said. "It's encouraging when you see all your hard work culminate into something tangible."