Approximately 75 graduates crossed the stage during the 2019 commencement for the Anoka-Hennepin Technical and Regional High Schools May 30.
In the auditorium of the Anoka-Hennepin Technical College, families gathered to listen to graduates speak about their time at the school, celebrate their successes and the graduates who earned scholarships.
The ceremony featured student speakers who shared their stories, such as Diana Guevara-Herrera, who transferred from a school in Mexico City. Upon entering the school system Guevara-Herrera learned she was behind on credits due to differences in the education system between the U.S. and Mexico. Nevertheless, she was able to graduate with 18 college credits free of charge.
Another speaker, Marissa Jenkins, celebrated the support she received from the school. She emphasized the excellence of the art teachers as well as the emotional support staff at the school.
“Grads, I just want to say, we finally made it,” Jenkins said. “I just want to say I am really proud of us all for putting in the work to get this far. We are finally one step further away from working at McDonald’s for the rest of our lives.”
Musa Kanneh was another international graduate celebrating his achievement of one of the first milestones in many American’s lives. Kanneh is from Liberia and moved to the U.S. when he was 10-years-old.
Kanneh celebrated his mother, who would get up early to make sure he got to school. It was difficult for him to leave her to go to the United State, he said.
“At first, I really hated it,” Kanneh said. “The food was different, the culture was different, especially the weather – it was way different.”
Kanneh was able to adjust, make friends and earn college credits. He thanked the staff and teachers for their support and helping him pass his classes.
Before commencement concluded, the staff handed out five scholarships. The students who earned scholarships were: Alyssa Fisher-Vizenor, $500 from the A-H Education Foundation; Britney Bosire, $1,000 from the A-H Principal Association; Guevara-Herrera, $1,500 from the Coon Rapids Lions; Stevenetta Sesay, a $1,000 general scholarship from Anoka Technical college and Noah Olson, who earned a $2,000 scholarship from Anoka Technical College and the Ramsey Lions.