University highlights students ahead of Saturday’s graduation

PHILIPSBURG–University of St. Martin (USM) has highlighted several students, who will be graduating and/or receiving certificates at the institution’s 23rd Commencement Ceremony, which will be held at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort and Casino this Saturday, June 24.

One of the persons graduating is Alexandria Nathanielle Baly-Stanford, who will be graduating with the highest honours. She attended USM for two years from August 2015. She will be receiving her Associates Degree in General Liberal Arts with a focus in Mathematics and Science this year and is already accepted at the University of the Virgin Islands for August 2017, where she will be studying to obtain her Bachelor of Arts in Social Science with a Minor in Political Science, USM said in a press release.

Baly-Stanford studied General Liberal Arts degree with a concentration in Mathematics and Science at USM “to get a good foundation,” as her interests originally lay in Aerospace Engineering. She credits the USM speech courses with having inspired her change in career choice to International Lawyer, primarily due to her discovery that she “love[s – Ed.] the art of debate.” She intends “to help create the rules and regulations that will govern how we act and settle in space.”

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Having completed numerous academic subjects at USM and participated in the Ambassadors and Debate Competition, amongst other extracurricular activities, she has found greater confidence in herself and her abilities. The most rewarding experiences at USM came from the students and staff, in the friendships and the experiences she has had with them. This has led to her growing as a person in her knowledge and her view of the world. She spoke of her gratefulness for the ways in which USM helped her explore herself and witness amazing moments in “startling new views of our island” and how the school “has unquestionably opened many doors” for her.

Rochana Richardson will also be receiving her Associates of Arts in Hospitality and Tourism Management as well as her BTEC Certificate. She reminisced about “the struggle” and how she learned to stop procrastinating. She also had to overcome the point of wanting to give up, being “persistent and consistent to really get where you have to go.”

Kharl Oliver will be receiving his Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) Higher National Certificate (HNC) this year and will be graduating next year. The “time put in was not wasted. All the stress and late nights and assignments were worth it because [I – Ed.] can see the outcome,” Oliver was quoted as saying in the release. He adds that persevering through a lot of deadlines and a lot of work, and overcoming the desire to give up, is extremely important.

USM said students such as Baly-Stanford, Oliver and Richardson “make St. Maarten proud. Their most rewarding experience at USM boiled down to accomplishing the end goal and getting their degrees.”

Oliver and Richardson believe that USM “teaches you what’s out there” and gives insight into “a real world and how you cannot slack off,” essentially creating a well-needed “training ground.” The two acknowledge that USM gave them a lot of chances and support over the course of their studies.

Source: The Daily Herald