Ridgeland Campus honors Practical Nursing students

Pictured is the Ridgeland Campus Practical Nursing Class of 2016.

The Ridgeland Campus of Holmes Community College held a Pinning Ceremony for the graduating Practical Nursing Class of 2016 on June 17 at First Baptist Church of Ridgeland. Nine women were honored during the ceremony.

Graduates included: Cameron Johnson Brown of Bentonia, Amanda "Mandi" Edwards of McComb, Jennifer "Jenny" Gore of Madison, Haley Greer of Terry, Lindsey Impastato of Ridgeland; Mary Brooke Maier of Ridgeland, Sharmeshia Manuel of Jackson, Carmen McKey of Hazlehurst, and Crystel Sayles of Richland.

The ceremony began with a processional of the Practical Nursing Class of 2016. Edwards, class vice president, gave the invocation, followed by a welcome from Vice President of the Ridgeland Campus Dr. Don Burnham and one from Ridgeland Campus Director of Career-Technical Education Amy Whittington.

Brown, class president, shared heartfelt remarks about the experiences she and her classmates went through. Through a mixture of tears and laughter, she recounted the good times and bad, and explained how the nine of them had become like sisters. She also encouraged her classmates to make an impact when they had the chance.

"I want to challenge each of you to make a difference," Brown said. "We have such a unique opportunity as nurses; just imagine how much we can impact the lives of others. We are there for people's first breath of life, and for some people's last. It's a tough job, but as I heard a preacher once say, pressure can do one of two things: bust a pipe or make diamonds. Let's all go make some diamonds. Thank you all for making a difference in my life."

Following Brown's remarks, Dr. Lakesia Sutton, practical nursing instructor, introduced the guest speaker, Dr. Samuel L. Jones. Dr. Jones, vice president of student affairs at Jones County Junior College, is also a former collegiate/professional basketball player, an author and inspirational speaker, and a facilitator/trainer for the Mississippi Economic Council's Leadership Mississippi program.

"I'm humbled and honored to be here," Dr. Jones said. "It's important for us in the community college system to stick together because at the end of the day, we are all in it for the same reason, and that's for the students.

"Today, I want to share five important notes about success. The first is that the road to success is always under construction. Don't let this be the last stop for you. Keep learning and growing. The second factor is that success is rented, not owned. Every time you reach a milestone, stop and celebrate! But then, be ready to work again. The third thing to remember is that success always brings expectation. The more success you have, the more people expect from you.

"The fourth point is that success has value. I was raised by my grandmother, a bus driver who was not educated, yet she still managed to instill great leadership skills in me and teach me that education and success have value. Finally, know that if you want more success, you've got to be willing to pay the price. The work that you do is not easy, and it is a service. A very important service. We need more nurses, and we need more people like each one of you. The work you do is changing lives. Take your success to significance; make an impact with the knowledge and experience you've gained. My prayers is that you will go out and change people's lives with what you have learned in the classroom."

Succeeding Dr. Jones' speech, practical nursing instructor Heather Roberts presented the salutatorian certificate and Nightingale Award to Edwards and the valedictorian certificate and Practical Nursing Student of the Year award to Brown. She also recognized the students who placed in the SkillsUSA competition in March. Those students included: Gore, Sayles, McKey and Edwards, first place in Quiz Bowl; Brown, first place in Job Interview; Greer, second place in Related Technical Math, and Impastato, third place in Extemporaneous Speaking.

After the awards were given, Dr. Sutton called the students to the stage one-by-one to receive their pins and lamps from Roberts, Whittington, and Dr. Burnham. The graduates then took part in the candle lighting before Greer, the class treasurer, led her classmates in reciting the Practical Nurse's Pledge. The ceremony concluded with Manuel, class secretary, giving the benediction.

For more information about the Practical Nursing program on the Ridgeland Campus, contact Dr. Sutton at (601) 605-3321 or lsutton@holmescc.edu., or Roberts at (601) 605-3334 or hroberts@holmescc.edu.
 
IN THIS PHOTO:

Pictured are (left to right) practical nursing instructor Heather Roberts, graduates Sharmeshia Manuel of Jackson, Haley Greer of Terry, Jennifer "Jenny" Gore of Madison, Mary Brooke Maier of Ridgeland, Carmen McKey of Hazlehurst, Amanda "Mandi" Edwards of McComb, Crystel Sayles of Richland, Lindsey Impastato of Ridgeland, Cameron Brown of Bentonia and LPN instructor Dr. Lakesia Sutton.

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