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Harford Community College celebrates its 'winners' in 2019 commencement

The Harford Community College women’s lacrosse team won it’s first-ever national championship this year, but they are not the college’s only winners in 2019, according to the Board of Trustees chair.

“You are all winners,” Richard Norling said during HCC’s 61st annual commencement Thursday. “The accomplishments that we recognize today with certificates and degrees basically show that you are winners, and you will succeed.”

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During the commencement ceremony in the APG Federal Credit Union Arena on the college’s main campus in Bel Air, college leaders honored the multiple accomplishments of students who completed their certificate and degree programs in August and December of 2018 as well as May 2019.

Graduate Michelle Ramsahoye received the Outstanding Student Leadership Award, and Kristy Breslin-Klevinsky, traffic anchor for WJZ-TV, accepted the Distinguished Alumni Award during commencement.

Breslin-Klevinsky, who has spent more than 20 years in broadcasting, is president of the Harford Cable Network Foundation and has worked with mass communication students at HCC as a performance critic and guest lecturer, according to a news release from the college.

Steven Rawlings was the student commencement speaker. He noted he saw “a true sea of diversity” looking over the crowd of graduates, including young people, as well as working parents, business owners, first responders, even members of the armed forces.

“What I see, more than anything, in each and every one of you is a student,” Rawlings said. “I see a set of individuals whose passion for education and drive for knowledge has brought them this very pinnacle of achievement that we celebrate here today.”

Rawlings, who completed a double major in political science and psychology, called HCC “a beacon of light and possibility for the working adult.”

Rawlings praised the college for offering online courses, which allowed him to earn his degree while working and caring for a young family. He talked about those who inspired him along his path, especially his late mother, who died from the neuromuscular disease ALS in January.

He said his mother told him when he was young about the power he held inside him, to “achieve anything I set my mind to,” although he did not realize that power until much later in life.

“I stand in front of you all today to tell you, ‘This same power exists in every single one of you,’” Rawlings said. “All you need to do is claim your power, seize it for yourself and begin to act upon your greatness.”

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