Edmonds Community College last week celebrated its 49th annual commencement ceremony, awarding 1,807 degrees, certificates and diplomas to the 2015-16 class. The youngest graduate was 16, and the oldest was 69.
“We honor and applaud the hard work, talent, and persistence of our graduates as they begin to realize their unlimited potential,” Hernandez said during the June 10 ceremony. “This achievement is a milestone on the path of their journey of lifelong learning. We know that this is only the beginning for our graduates and anticipate that their success will blaze a trail for future Edmonds CC students.”
This year’s student commencement speakers were Yujie “Crystal” Ma, 17, and Marcus Martinez, 34.
When Yujie Ma was 16 years old, her parents felt that studying abroad at an early age would help broaden her horizons. When they found out about Edmonds CC’s High School to University program, a high school completion program for international students, Ma decided it was the right program for her and moved to Washington from the Henan Province of China.
After graduating from Edmonds CC with her Associate in Business Degree, Ma will be transferring to Western Washington University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in marketing. Ultimately, she would like to become a marketing executive.
Ma’s advice to the graduating class, “Live in the moment. It is normal to feel lost when we graduate. Everyone worries about that next step or which job you are going to get. Take this time to do simple things like reading an inspiring book, going to a baseball game, or spending time with family. Taking care of yourself is important.”
Marcus Martinez had always had a knack for remembering numbers so he felt that accounting could be the field for him, but he was aware of the challenges he would have to face. After working for 14 years in the fast food industry, he knew that he was ready to make a change.
“My wife Kristina has always been a big supporter in all that I do and she has never doubted me,” explained Martinez. “She encouraged me to go to school and study to be an accountant. I’m glad I listened to her and now love what I do.”
Martinez was recently hired by Radiant Global Logistics in Bellevue and works in their accounts payable department. His future plans include completing his bachelor’s degree in accounting.
Martinez’s advice to the graduating class, “stay true to yourself and take pride in all that you do. Never be afraid to work for what you truly want out of life.”