The Holmes Community College Ridgeland Campus held a pinning ceremony for the Practical Nursing Class of 2022 on June 30 at Broadmoor Baptist Church in Madison. Sixteen students were honored. The graduating class included Mary Virginia Aultman of Oktibbeha County, Kaylee Brinkley of Madison County, Lois Brown of Hinds County, Tiffany Davis of Washington County, Joanna Frazier of Rankin County, Sarah Gray of Leake County, Kristina Horton of Carroll County, Chasity King of Yazoo County, Kayla Neal of Hinds County, Breanna Odie of Covington County, Ebony Owens of Rankin County, Janeisha Simpson of Holmes County, Chelsea Smith, Jakiya Turner of Hinds County, Alexandria Walsh of Rankin County and Hannah Williams of Yazoo County.
The ceremony began with a processional of the graduates, followed by Odie, the class vice president, giving the invocation. Following the prayer, Holmes Ridgeland Campus Vice President Dr. Don Burnham welcomed everyone before Brown, the class president, shared some remarks.
“From August to June, we have been instilled with so much information that you can’t help but feel burned out,” Brown said. “Literally, nurses within a 10-month timeframe, that sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? Yet here we are. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to give up. Only the people going through it with you truly understand. For that, I thank my friends for keeping me going. They have heard my cries, seen my drowning in life’s busyness, and so have I with them. But today, we have all made it. I want to thank God for guiding me, my mom for pushing me, my closest friends for being there and my teachers for not letting me give up. Class of 2022, we have made it!”
Following Brown’s remarks, nursing instructor Dr. Lakesia Sutton stepped up to introduce the speaker, Career Technical Coordinator Allison DeWeese.
“To the graduates: your hard work, dedication and dedication over the past 11 months have made it possible for us to celebrate you today,” DeWeese said. “To the family, friends and supporters here today, thank you for your support. Without it, these ladies would not be receiving their pins today. Eleven months ago, you embarked on this journey to become a practical nurse. You and your classmates have spent countless hours studying for your tests, preparing for check-offs and clinical experiences. As for the formal portion of your education comes to an end, and as you step out into the vast world of employment, you will continue to master the art of being a practical nurse.
“However, all of us know that the world of nursing changes every day so you will never quit learning as long as you are a nurse,” DeWeese said. “I challenge you today to continue to learn the skills needed to become one of the most sought-after nurses. I know that ya’ll have the skills to do that. I also know that in just a few short months, because of the knowledge and the experience and the wisdom that you have already learned and that you will continue to gain as you begin to go to work, you will be ready to step in and be a mentor to the next rookie nurse. I know this because you have received excellent training and opportunities while you’ve been at Holmes. I have to agree with Dr. Burnham, I think we have some of the best instructors around.
“I know that because you will be in the medical field you will make a difference in somebody’s life every single day,” DeWeese said. “You may never know that, but always remember that. I challenge you to never quit working to master the art of nursing, take advantage of every opportunity to mentor a co-worker and most of all, strive to make a difference in your community.”
After DeWeese’s address, nursing instructor Heather Roberts approached the podium to present awards. Owens was named valedictorian for having the highest GPA in her class, Frazier was named salutatorian for having the second highest GPA and Brinkley was named the class historian for having the third highest. Additionally, Williams was named Practical Nursing Student of the Year for her excellence in academics and leadership. After the awards presentation, Dr. Sutton called the students to the stage one-by-one to receive their certificates and pins. Dr. Burnham and DeWeese presented certificates before Roberts pinned each student.
Following the pinning, Roberts explained and led the candle lighting before Owens, the class secretary, led the graduates in reciting the Practical Nurse’s Pledge. Finally, Dr. Sutton concluded the program by presenting the Class of 2022 before Gordon, class treasurer, gave the benediction.
IN THIS PHOTO: Pictured is the Holmes Community College Ridgeland Campus Practical Nursing Class of 2022 with instructors (far left) Dr. Lakesia Sutton and (far right) Heather Roberts. They are (front row, left to right) Kayla Neal of Hinds County, Kaylee Brinkley of Madison County, Ebony Owens of Rankin County, Sarah Gray of Leake County, Janeisha Simpson of Holmes County, Joanna Frazier of Rankin County, (middle row, left to right) Alexandria Walsh of Rankin County, Jakiyah Turner of Hinds County, Chasity King of Yazoo County, Mary Virginia Aultman of Oktibbeha County, Tiffany Davis of Washington County, (back row, left to right) Chelsea Smith of Carthage, Breanna Odie of Covington County, Kristina Horton of Carroll County, Lois Brown of Hinds County and Hannah Williams of Yazoo County.