JD prepares for graduation

Published 2:02 pm Monday, May 11, 2009

By By Kerry Whipple Bean

When Laurel Tucker graduates from Jefferson Davis Community College Monday night, she will be the second in her family to earn a degree from the school — in less than three years since the family moved from Idaho to Brewton.
Tucker’s mother, Sheila, is originally from Pensacola, Fla. The elder Tucker and her sister decided to enroll in nursing school at the same time, and they chose JDCC. Sheila Tucker graduated a year ago and has been working at Jay Hospital.
That kind of adventure is nothing new for Tucker’s family. Her grandparents, ministers for the past 30 years, started a Bible school in Kenya about 10 years ago, and Tucker has taken two trips there to help out.
After 10 weeks in Africa where one friend spoke to her only in Swahili, the culture shock of moving from Idaho to south Alabama wasn’t such a big deal.
And for Laurel, enrolling at JDCC gave the new Brewton resident an advantage.
Attending JDCC helped Tucker save money, and she believes she is well prepared for the next step after her associate in arts degree — continuing her education at Montevallo, where she will study communications.
Tucker has not only taken on a full class load, she has also been involved in several activities at JDCC.
In addition to membership in Phi Theta Kappa, Tucker has been a loyal volunteer at JDCC’s Student Support Services, volunteering as a tutor and going on student cultural tours.
Tucker is one of 273 students eligible to participate in graduation ceremonies Monday, Dean of Student Affairs David Jones said.
The school has 159 graduates and 114 GED recipients eligible to participate in the 6 p.m. ceremony at the school.
Many of the students have chosen JDCC to embark on new careers — as Tucker’s mother did when she began nursing school.
So despite the economic slowdown, Jones said students are optimistic.
Many other graduates sought degrees because of the economy, Jones said.

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