BY KARISSA MILLER

Hundreds of new Mitchell Community College graduates who earned their associate degrees, diplomas or professional certificates were honored Saturday during a pair of commencement ceremonies at the Mooresville Performing Arts Center.

College President Tim Brewer told the audience that the ceremonies were dedicated to the grads.

“Our hope is you will continue to seek more opportunities for growth and never cease to learn. As a graduate of this college, many of you have overcome obstacles and gained knowledge and skills to move forward in a four-year college or enter into the workforce,” Brewer said.

Highest honor grad Alison Juiris was named the recipient of the college’s 2024 President’s Award.

“She’s a volunteer tutor to Ukraine students. Her work in this volunteer online program connects Ukrainian and American youth for cultural exchange in English-speaking practice. She’s a mentor to other volunteers in the program as well,” Brewer said.

Juiris plans on transferring to UNC-Chapel Hill and majoring in Business Administration with a focus in real estate. She hopes to create more affordable housing.

Harriet Elizabeth Jenkins was honored with the Academic Excellence Award, which is based on faculty nominations and a high Grade Point Average.

Jenkins dropped out of high school after her sister passed away. Worried that she would have limited opportunities, she motivated herself to completed Mitchell’s high school equivalency program and with encouragement she continued her education.

During her journey, she found a passion for Human Services and fell in love with education for the first time.

“Inspired by her current community service work, Harriet will continue her education after graduation with the aspiring goal to create a bridge between the local community college and foster care system so that both youth and young adults can have access to the same opportunities,” Brewer said.

Jeff Cox, North Carolina Community College System president, was this year’s commencement speaker.

“You are living testimony to the transformative power of education. I challenge you to use your skills and knowledge to uplift others and make the world a better place for all of us,” he said.

Photos Courtesy of Mitchell Community College

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