HBC recognizes graduates of 2006 during ceremony

May 01, 2006|by MARLO BARNHART


A long, long way from her home in the British Virgin Islands, Engrid Malone-Defreitas left her three children to come to Hagerstown Business College to build a better future for herself and her family.

"It was the hardest thing I ever did - leaving my children behind," Malone-Defreitas said Saturday as she addressed her fellow graduates and a host of relatives who journeyed to see her graduate summa cum laude from the HBC health information technology associate degree program.

Describing herself as a role model for her children, Malone-Defreitas said she never gave up her goal.

"I'll never forget this experience - Hagerstown Business College made my dreams come true," she said.

More than 150 students who earned degree or certificates in allied health, business, legal studies and computer technology were eligible to graduate at the Saturday morning ceremony at North Hagerstown High School.


HBC President W. Christopher Motz introduced a second student speaker, Ramona Tarun, who came from California and enrolled at the college with hopes of realizing the dream her parents had for her.

"My mother and father knew they had to work hard and have faith to succeed," Tarun said. "They were optimistic and believed in education."

On Saturday, Tarun received her associate degree in graphic design - another dream fulfilled.

It also was a special day for Melissa Kyne, 26, of Martinsburg, W.Va., who attended HBC while working full time.

"It worked well, meshing work and classes," Kyne said. She earned her associate degree in health information technology.

When Dee Greenlee no longer could be a truck driver, she looked to HBC for a new career. She found it in the criminal justice associate degree program.

"I'm already working in my field at the Washington County Health Department," Greenlee said. Her hopes are to get her bachelor's degree and work with adolescents in drug and alcohol counseling.

Donita Scott came from Charles Town, W.Va., to watch her 50-year-old sister, Antoinette Ringgold, graduate from the health information technology associate degree program.

"I'm so proud of her. Nobody helped her - she did this all herself," Scott said of her sister, who also balanced her HBC studies with her family duties.

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