Tradition of non-traditional Triton College students graduating remains consistent in 2012

Inspiring students who disregarded their age for a higher education to walk at commencement on May 19

River Grove, Ill. -- Triton College's students who are graduating this spring are true testaments to the statement "If you want something bad enough, you'll get it." And in this case, they wanted a higher education and they'll receive their diplomas when they walk the stage at the 46th Annual Triton College Commencement on May 19.

By no means was it an easy task, especially for Triton's non-traditional students who weren't going to let their age keep them from a college education.

Mary Hudson of Maywood enjoys baking and wanted to learn everything she could to satisfy her family's sweet tooth. At age 58 and after taking courses at Triton for two years, Hudson will graduate with a certificate in Baking and Pastry at Triton College.

Matteo A. Ribaudo of Westchester proves it’s never too late to pursue a higher education. At age 69 and retired from the printing industry, the Sicilian-born student will graduate with an associate’s degree in general studies in May. He credits Triton’s instructors for his accomplishment and drive to continue learning. “The teachers challenged me and left a positive impression on me of the college,” he said. Ribaudo is considering taking advantage of Triton’s University Center, where he can take classes on Triton’s campus to receive a bachelor’s degree from a four-year university. “I enjoy coming to Triton; this is where I feel comfortable.”  

Some of Triton's more traditional students also have inspiring, news-worthy stories behind receiving their education and seeing it through to completion.

Minerva "Minnie" Fuentes of Berwyn is eager to graduate with her associate's degree in arts on May 19. But she's not the only person in her family that will be graduating from Triton College. Her 5-year-old daughter Maribel will graduate on May 24 from Triton's Kindergarten program of the Child Development Center. The duo are both proud of each other's accomplishments. "I'm looking forward more to her graduation than my own," Minerva said. "She's my baby."

She added: “My daughter doesn’t quite understand how important this graduation is for mommy, but she’ll tell me ‘You’re graduating like me. I love you mommy, and I’m very proud of you.’”

Nelida Cardoso, a Triton College accounting major from Melrose Park, will be the first person in her family to graduate with a college degree in May, and she couldn't be more proud.“I’m very proud of myself to say that I have earned my degree, and knowing that it’ll open more doors for me in the job market is exciting,” she said with plans to pursue her bachelor’s degree at National Louis University. “Triton has helped me to grow and mature and has been a positive experience for me.”

For more graduation stories like these, contact Alicia Roberson, Public Relations Writer, at (708) 456-0300, ext. 3608 or e-mail aroberso@triton.edu.