DAVENPORT — Scott Community College graduates face the new challenge of continuing their push toward success after the college's 2013 commencement ceremony on Wednesday at the RiverCenter.
Friends, faculty and family members flooded the center to honor hundreds of graduates.The formal send-off honored students' achievements, degrees and certificates, while calling on each of them to continue their hard work.
SCC graduate Ebony Imani Rivers delivered the commencement speech. Currently a tri-brand manager at Enterprise Holdings in Cedar Rapids, Ms. Rivers told graduates to never settle for "good" in life.
"One thing I've learned along my journey is that good is the enemy of great," she said.
Ms. Rivers said, while attending Augustana College, she became distracted as she rushed to earn a bachelor's degree. Intent on getting her degree as quickly as possible, she lost focus on what was important, she said, and was forced to remain at school even longer.
But Ms. Rivers said her failures in life have strengthened her and molded her into a better person.
"You know, it's okay to fail as long as you learn from it," she said, challenging her fellow graduates to maintain focus on their goals and fight to achieve them.
"This is not the end of your journey, but the start of something great," she said.
Also speaking Wednesday night was new SCC graduate Nick Bruns, a five-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. While at SCC, Mr. Bruns helped expand Scott's Student Veterans Organization.
He said he initially had anxieties about returning to school, fearing he would feel out-of-place as a non-traditional student. But Mr. Burns said he discovered the transition from a military lifestyle to an academic lifestyle was much easier than he had imagined, something he mostly credits to his fellow classmates.
"I did not get here by myself," he said, noting the support of family and faculty pushed him toward his goals. He now plans to continue his education at a four-year school to study nursing.
Fellow graduate Kristine Helsley, of Muscatine, also returned to school at SCC as an example for her high-school and college-aged children -- and to pay homage to her late father, according to Ms. Helsley's mother, Linda Daniels, also of Muscatine.
"Her father wanted her to go to college." Ms. Daniels said. "He always knew she had potential."
The new SCC graduate hopes to work at a hospice, now that she has received her nursing degree, her mother said.
The list of SCC graduates was not available at press time Wednesday night. It will be published at a later date.