The class of 2022 from Fresno City College prevailed.
Despite the challenges of graduating during the COVID pandemic, Fresno City College’s class of 2022 prevailed.
This year’s class set a record for FCC Commencement with 2,585 students graduating with an associate degree. In 2021, there were 2,443 graduates.
Family and friends celebrated the graduates Friday night (June 3) at Chukchansi Park.
Jim Yovino, Superintendent of Fresno County Schools, was this year’s distinguished alumnus and keynote speaker.
Yovino told graduates that everything he has today – who he is, what he does and what he has achieved – is because he attended Fresno City College.
Yovino called FCC a “magical place” that “turns enthusiasts into professionals.”
“And that’s where you’re all heading. Somewhere amazing,” said Yovino who attended FCC from 1986 to 1987 to take undergraduate general education courses.
He later transferred to Fresno State where he earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education and a teaching degree. He also earned a master’s degree in education from Fresno Pacific University.
“You have much to be proud of. All the graduates here tonight. You did it. You have successfully completed the trip. And especially, if not completely, during a pandemic when the way we were to teach and learn has been redesigned, redesigned and re-engaged,” Yovino said.
During his speech, Yovino shared with the graduates a few things that made a difference for him, such as finding his “why”.
After graduating from high school and going to Fresno State for a few years, Yovino said he had no sense of direction or purpose and eventually gave up and went. opened his own business.
And it was in his late twenties that he was asked to help coach high school football, which made him realize that he loved working with children, finding his passion. But to be a full-time coach and teacher, he had to go back to school and started taking night classes at Fresno City College.
Although he was scared at first and unsure if he belonged, thanks to the teachers and staff at FCC who instilled his confidence in him, Yovino said he made it through, taking the classes he needed to transfer to Fresno State and get his bachelor’s degree. diploma and teaching title.
Yovino told graduates that whatever they choose to do after graduation is to be the “best at everything” and to do it to the best of their abilities and to be at background, to work hard and above all to be kind.
“Kindness will always prevail,” he said. “And anyone can do both of those things. Above all, be nice. And the world, as we’ve seen, needs more kind people…and I hope that’s you.
The third thing he shared with graduates is to find a mentor or mentors, who are willing to help them grow, who will challenge them and tell them when they are wrong.
“Seek advice from those you respect. Those who work hard and are kind. They won’t cheat on you,” he said, adding that it is important to always remember where they come from and to remembering their roots, the struggles and sacrifices of their families and friends.
“Because you didn’t come to this place alone,” he said, adding that wherever they go, they come back to help shape the future of their community.
Among the graduates were Koleen Madrigal, 20, and Aaliyah Jennie Ávalos, 21.
Madrigal earned an associate’s degree in administration of justice for transfer while Áalos earned two associate’s degrees in American Sign Language Studies and Liberal Arts – American Sign Language.
“It feels good to finish and then I progress and I’m able to do what I want and what interests me,” said Ávalos, who is also attending Fresno State to work on her bachelor’s degree.
Ávalos said working on her associate’s degree was difficult during the pandemic, but overcame those challenges thanks to her professors and peers “who are interested in the same career path.”
To get to the point of graduation, Madrigal said she also faced many challenges regarding COVID.
“Some of my family members also had COVID and died. So it was difficult for me to stay in school,” Madrigal said. “But I’m glad I stayed in school and got my AA as a first generation and also set an example for my younger brother.”
Friday’s opening ceremony also included a moment of silence to remember faculty, staff and students who died during the school year, including board dean Mónica Cuevas.