GCC celebrates its Class of 2013

Glendale Community College celebrated the academic success of the members of its 2013 class Wednesday evening.

In addressing his fellow graduates, Cameron McGee thanked his grandmother for encouraging him to attend the Glendale campus and thus to become the first college student in his family.

PHOTOS: Glendale Community College graduation

"You, too, have overcome many challenges, worked to get yourself through school," he said. "But you're here today.... Know that your education isn't just a piece of paper. It's here in your heart."

About 450 graduates earned associate degrees and another roughly 260 students earned certificates of completion in their programs of study.

Sara Saavedra, 21, became the first college graduate among her seven siblings on Wednesday after three years at GCC. She plans to study at a four-year school in San Francisco.

"I'm an educated lady walking around here," she said. "It doesn't feel so real … but I have a degree. I have a diploma."

Vickie Whitecotton, 49, earned her associate's degree in nursing after beginning at the college in 2009.

After going through a divorce, the Burbank resident, who always wanted to be a nurse, knew she had to go back to school to support her daughters, ages 14 and 23.

"I'm just so overwhelmed with how good this feels, because it's been a long road," she said, adding, "My time here has been phenomenal."

As one of 35 future nurses to graduate, Whitecotton was grateful for the educators and classmates she got to know in the college's nursing program, and especially for her daughters, who saw her walk across the stage on Wednesday.

"They've cheered me on. They've done this with me every step of the way," she said.


Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.

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