Page 9

COMMENCEMENT Speakers Inspire with Determination, Patience Alana Parker and Loretta Price couldn’t be more different, and yet more similar. One is a mother. One is a grandmother. One is starting her career. The other is supplementing an already diverse work history. Both served as commencement speakers at Rio Salado College’s graduation ceremony. And both have overcome tough individual challenges to reach this goal. Parker, whose life-long dream is to become a nurse, graduated with an Associate in Applied Science in Nursing degree. “Earning my degree has empowered me,” said Parker, who began taking classes in 2001. “I am excited to help improve the quality healthcare offered to individuals in my community.” While working toward her degree, Parker juggled school, a job, and the family responsibilities that come with having a husband and two young sons. Soon, however, the pressure began to build. “I faced massive stress during the first two blocks of my program,” said Parker, who reached out to Melanie Abts, Rio Salado counseling faculty member, for support. “Melanie taught me how to relieve my stress using different methods of relaxation,” said Parker. “She helped me understand my studying method, and how to prepare and minimize test anxiety.” Having conquered stress, Parker then found herself dealing with self-confidence issues. “I would look at others in my class and feel under qualified due to my lack of work and educational experience,” said Parker. “I realized halfway into the program that I could achieve anything I put my mind to.”

Alana

r Parke

That same determination is a trait also exhibited by Loretta Price, who earned an Associate in Arts degree in Public Administration. In 1976, Price immigrated to the United States from South Africa, and worked for a car rental company for many years before getting a recruiter position with Maricopa County. At work, she joined a cohort program where county employees receive onsite training to earn certificates or degrees through Rio Salado College. “I was apprehensive because this was my first exposure to any American school,” said Price. “My educational experience in South Africa was high school and three months of college.” Price’s cohort completed their certificate program in 2006, and decided to continue with the degree program. When the cohort ended in 2008, Price forged ahead, taking online classes on her own to complete her degree. “I learned it’s never too late to start your education,” said Price. “Rio Salado took away all the obstacles and made getting an education very easy.”

ta Loret

Price

U at Rio Salado College Magazine  

Rio Salado proudly introduces our new publication U @ Rio Salado Magazine. The publication is your compete guide to the Rio Salado community...

U at Rio Salado College Magazine  

Rio Salado proudly introduces our new publication U @ Rio Salado Magazine. The publication is your compete guide to the Rio Salado community...

Advertisement