May 16, 2017 | NVC PR | Leave a comment Monday, May 15 was a magical night for a little more than 700 Northwest Vista College graduates who took part in commencement at the Freeman Coliseum. Graduates from all walks of life were there celebrating with families and friends. One particular student, Veronica Koppetsch, had a big surprise in store for her elderly father who was in the audience. He thought he came to the Freeman Coliseum to watch his daughter sing. However she rushed back stage, put on a purple gown, and walked across the stage to receive her associate degree. Veronica became the first in her family to receive a college degree. In the fall of 2015, she received a certificate and will finally be awarded an associate degree. “My father didn’t know I was graduating. I wanted to prove I could do this as a single mom. People didn’t believe I was going to college because my English is not good,” said Veronica, who’s originally from Mexico. As she walked across the stage Monday night, she proudly opened her gown to display the words “I did it for you Sophia (her 16-year-old daughter).” Other graduates also had heart-wrenching stories. Patrice Gibson Scott gave up college many years ago. She eventually found her way back to NVC after raising her son, her two nieces and fostering two boys as a single parent. “I knew that returning to school would be a challenge due to being discouraged years prior. I hesitated at first because of my age; I will be graduating this May with my associate’s at age 58. My resiliency was tested, however, as a non-traditional student I am proof that age should not be a factor in earning an education. I knew in order to receive my degree I had to pass college algebra. NVC offered tutoring in the math lab and great professors that really cared and wanted to help their students succeed. I am proud to say I overcame this fear and completed college algebra with an A.” Another student, a veteran named Kevin, said at first college seemed scary to him and he wasn’t sure if he could handle it because of his medical issues. He said he dreamed of earning his associate’s degree. NVC has given him confidence to go further and earn his master’s and doctoral degrees. “I didn’t go into this semester without some serious doubts and reservations. I wasn’t sure if I could keep up with the work and other students, or if I would have too much pain and medical problems that would interfere with my attendance,” Kevin said. “I wasn’t sure how I would cope being around big crowds. I gave all these worries over to God. At NVC, I was able to feel like I fit right in with the rest of the students. The wellness center played a huge role in my success. With the help of this program, I had note-takers, testing options, and other great accommodations in place that made this possible. I appreciate all the support I received this semester. My teachers are all wonderful and have taught me lifelong lessons. I would tell the president of NVC, KUDOS sir! What a great school!” To see more pictures from graduation, go here.