By Lauren Cortez
Pulse Staff Reporter
With spring semester coming to an end, students have a lot to anticipate. One of the biggest things is graduation on May 19 at 1 p.m. at the Freeman Coliseum.
For an estimated of 1,396 graduates this spring, Palo Alto College will be the first higher education milestone for many of them. While each and every student’s journey has been different, their destination was the same.
Whether or not students choose to transfer to a senior institution, the excitement and joy is all the same, and it is something to share with family and friends.
“I’m super excited, like really, really excited. Every time I think about it, a big ol’ smile comes across my face because I’m graduating with some of my friends and my boyfriend, and the most exciting part is my sister is graduating from high school and that makes my mom very proud,” said Candelaria Herrera, a 20-year-old Psychology major.
Some students are choosing to pursue their bachelor’s degree at a higher education institution, but moving on to a new chapter is bittersweet.
“I feel an overall sense of accomplishment; however, in the back of my mind, I feel this is only the beginning. I have mixed feelings due to that I love it here, and I’m never going to see anyone I know at the other campus,” said Kevin Mendoza, a 23-year-old Arts and Science major who will be transferring to Texas A&M-San Antonio next fall.
Trying to figure out whether or not to continue and what university to go to is a challenge, but for some the choice was easy.
“I picked UTSA because they have one of the top five Business departments in the nation, and they also are the only university within a good distance that has my major all the way up to a doctorate degree,” said Jinna Brizo, a 29-year-old Business Administration major.
Students are not the only ones feeling nostalgic. Staff and professors have been present through the start of these student’s education.
“I’m feeling sad but glad. My Real Estate professor is gonna have a test prep that morning, but I told my husband I have to go to graduation. I told my students I will be there,” said Esther Rendón, administrative services specialist for the Tutoring Services-Honors Program.
This year’s keynote speaker will be Erika Prosper, the wife of San Antonio’s mayor, Ron Nirenberg. Prosper is the director of Consumer Insight for the HEB Corporation. Prosper served on the executive board of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the H-E-B Corporate Diversity Council and Health and Literacy Task Forces.
She’s also received many awards, including Outstanding Alumni from the Association of Migrant Educators of Texas. Prosper, coming from a humble upbringing, understands what hard work can bring.
For those attending graduation, parking is $10. Attendees do not need tickets; seats are first-come, first-serve. Doors open at 11 a.m. Guest parking is in lots #1 and #2. Air horns, posters, strollers, flowers or other decorations that would obstruct view are not allowed.