WHITPANE – The 55th day of Montgomery County Public College will celebrate the achievements of its graduates during three ceremonies on Thursday, May 19, at the Blue Bell campus, 340 DeKalb Pike.
Personal entrance ceremonies will be held at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the Maurice Road car park, in rain or snow. Students and their families will park on the playground and sit next to their cars. All graduates will have the opportunity to walk the stage to receive diplomas and certificates. A live broadcast will be available on the MCCC website one hour before each ceremony.
MCCC President Victoria L. Bastecki-Perez, MCCC Board of Trustees Chair Varsovia Fernandez, Montgomery County Commissioners Chairman Dr. Valerie A. Sheet, MCCC Foundation Chairman Joseph W. Gallagher and MCCC Alumni Board Chairman Bill Vitiel.
MCCC Vice President for Academic Affairs Gloria Oikelome will present awards for teaching and present candidates for degrees and certificates.
This year’s song “Montco Family” with lyrics and music by Colin Foley was developed, produced and mastered in the MCCC professional mix room by Director of Sound and Music Technology David Ivory, Associate Professor of Music Michael Kelly, Engineer Evan Healy. and Quinn Sentz and senior producer and maintenance manager Matthew Porter. It includes students Summer Ashley, Ricky Valentine, Anthony Cheney, Marley McElreau, Vern White, Justin Fisher, Sarah Menez, Grace Vin and Ariel Olsher and faculty / staffers David Ivory, Michael Kelly, Sarah Kane, Ron Hoe Dewey Porter.
The MCCC speaker is 25-year-old Clintasha Hampton from Plymouth Meeting, who will receive a certificate in health care – the first step towards her goal of becoming an endocrinologist.
When she grew up, Hampton witnessed her mother battling health problems related to type 1 diabetes. She felt powerless when she visited her mother in the hospital and could do nothing to make her feel better. However, she also saw how the medical staff approached the care, and it left an unforgettable impression.
“I knew I wanted to be in these shoes, in these scrubs – to do it for someone, even if it was the slightest difference,” she said. “To be the one to make sure someone came back to their loved ones in better shape than when they came to me.”
After graduating from Norristown High School in 2015, she felt she needed to do something with her life to make the feeling of helplessness go away. She thought that if she studied hard, maybe she would also get a job in healthcare and bring with her the tools and knowledge to start helping others like her mom.
While she was in high school, she Hampton enrolled in a biomedical technology course at Montco Central Technical High School to gain a head start. Then after high school she saw an ad in her local pharmacy, looking for technicians 18 and older to work in the store, so she applied and got a job. She did this for two years before deciding it was time to go back to school. She began her first semester at MCCC in the fall of 2017 and got a job as a server to help pay for tuition.
She dropped out of school after one semester. Looking back, she said she didn’t have a clear enough goal when she went to school, and took on more than she could handle.
“I lived on my own. And I didn’t want to write a three-page essay after an eight-hour shift on my feet, ”she said. “In the end, I was very exhausted trying to juggle it all.”
When she tried to enroll again shortly thereafter, she became pregnant with her daughter Naomi and knew she would not yet be able to compare how mom, work and school are.
“Learning to conform to the normal work and school schedule of a person who does not yet understand the concept of time, to put it mildly, is difficult,” she said.
Finally in 2020, Hampton decided to return to the MCCC and enroll in a health care program. This time it worked out. The program suited her perfectly. This gives students experience in the administrative and clinical aspects of medicine, enabling them to perform numerous paramedic roles in physicians ’offices, hospitals and other medical facilities. She liked the fast pace and practical working conditions.
“It was great,” she said of her experience at the MCCC. “I’m 100 percent more confident.”
Her daughter is also three years older, and Hampton said she was the motivation she needs to keep going when things get tough.
“That’s the reason I graduated,” she said. “She pushed me to get out of bed every day. I wanted for her a better life. So to do something better for her, I have to do something better of myself. ”
Next for Hampton will be an externship this summer at a nearby medical facility. She needs to go through 160 hours of field training to officially complete the program. After that, she plans to work at a trauma center and then continue her studies with the goal of one day becoming an endocrinologist.
“Endocrinology is the study of diabetes and hormonal imbalances,” she said. “I went with her mom to see her and I loved her doctor. He allowed me to ask questions and saw how much I was invested and conducted a shadow tour for me during the day. I just fell in love. “
Her mother, by the way, manages much better.
“No more hospital stays,” she said.
Hampton said her speech at the beginning was intended to inspire the next generation of MCCC students to look to her as an example. Although the road to its completion took many unforeseen turns, it ultimately led to a happy ending.
“I want to show people that it’s possible,” she said. “Believe in yourself and have a support system. I want to thank my parents, my beautiful daughter, my semester sisters, and the teachers and staff of Montco for helping me get to where I am today. ”