Greetings from the College of Southern Nevada!
Excellence is a habit.
That’s the message that this year’s CSN commencement speaker, student Karin Rodriguez, will deliver at our upcoming graduation ceremony.
Rodriguez was chosen from among many students who vied for the honor of delivering the commencement speech.
His story is similar to many community college students’ stories. It is one of persistence, hard work and overcoming obstacles. He started college several years ago, but was unable to finish. He says he felt like a failure.
But by 2012, Rodriguez had seen a new daughter born into the world and he was struggling financially. He knew he had to do something. He re-enrolled and began classes at CSN.
Soon, Rodriguez went from attending part-time to attending full-time. He found that he liked college and that he could become good at it if he worked hard enough. He learned what his weaknesses were, and he sought to improve. He knew he needed to work on his writing skills, so Rodriguez signed up for free help at the CSN Writing Center.
With help, his writing improved. He earned top good grades, not just passing grades, in his writing courses. He improved his good grades to perfect grades, earning straight A’s. He formed a habit of doing excellent work.
In his final year at CSN, Rodriguez became more involved in school, joining the student government as a senator, and becoming a member of TRIO, a group for first-generation college students. All the while, he continued working a full-time job outside of college.
Though he struggled with some courses, even up to the end, he credits support from his family for his success. He is among the newest crop of CSN graduates, the Class of 2015.
This column ran online May 18, 2015 in El Tiempo.