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2023 Commencement student speakers

Commencement 2023 will be held May 10, 11 and 12. For more information on each event, please go here. CLC is proud to feature student speakers at each event. Read more about your 2023 student speakers below.

Tabitha Kibwaa began her voyage through Central Lakes College (CLC) in the fall of 2021 and is graduating with her Associates of Arts Degree as a Post Secondary Enrollment student. She has also completed the Honors Program Certificate. In June, she will be graduating from Pequot Lakes High School as well.

During her tenure at CLC, Tabitha made advocating for marginalized groups a priority, building positive change in our community. As part of this mission, she led various student groups and activities, served as a student senator, spoke at the opening to Black History Month, organized students for the International Women’s Day celebration, and considered the role of poetry daily. Tabitha also played a large role in defining and strengthening CLC’s multicultural space, The Nest, as well as organizing the activities provided within it.

Tabitha was an active member of professional committees at CLC, such as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, and represented student voices to the governing assemblies of the college. During her studies, Tabitha attended various conferences, including the Nobel Conference in Gustavus Adolphus College where she networked with speakers and researchers who led her to her prospective field of study, Africana Studies.

Whether she’s writing poetry, crocheting a sweater, engaging in her church community, or hanging out with friends and family, Tabitha strives to be an agent of good – the loving, just, and joyful kind of good. She hopes to bring what she’s learned at CLC to all corners of her future as she continues to advocate for a kinder world. This fall, Tabitha is excited to begin new adventures at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Angelina Schultz began her journey at Central Lakes College (CLC) as a Post Secondary Enrollment Option student in the fall of 2021 and is graduating with her Associate of Arts Degree. Additionally, she has completed the CLC Honors Program Certificate, earned her Business and Entrepreneurship Certificate, and will be graduating from Pequot Lakes High School in June.

Angelina has been an exceptionally active member of the CLC community, lifting student voices, advocating for student needs, and even picking out furniture for the HUB (CLC’s Basic Student Needs Center). In her first year at CLC, she was elected Treasurer of the Student Senate and volunteered in the Student Life Center, Food Pantry, and worked to make the HUB a reality. She also represented CLC to local and state leaders and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the regional accreditation body for CLC. All along, Angelina developed meaningful relationships with students, staff, faculty, administrators, and state legislators who were always happy to see her (and her smile) enter a room.

In 2022, Angelina was elected as Student Senate President and focused on increasing student civic engagement, among other things. She planned events to encourage students to register to vote and participate in the democratic process. For this work, Angelina won a national award from the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition titled, “Making Democracy Fun and Celebratory.” She was also nominated for the 2023 ALL IN Student Voting Honor Roll, another national award.

Next Year, Angelina is planning on continuing her education at the University of South Florida pursuing a career in advertising and public relations. There she is planning to help enhance their food pantry and exercise her passion for leadership. When Angelina is not at CLC, or her two other jobs, she can be found in warmer climates, exploring the world outside Minnesota.

Ryan Youngbauer began taking classes at Central Lakes College (CLC) in the Fall of 2021 and is graduating with his Robotics/Automated Systems Technology Diploma and Robotic Vision Advanced Certificate. Ryan is a proud graduate of Staples-Motley High School and is an active member of the Staples Area Men’s Chorus.

Throughout his career at CLC, Ryan encouraged a better understanding of student mental health and created positive changes on the Staples Campus. For example, he actively encouraged his fellow students to meet with the on-campus therapist while serving as a Mental Health Ambassador, and his efforts have helped erode the stigma associated with asking for help.

During the 2022-2023 school year, Ryan served as the Staples Campus Student Senate President. As the Student Senate President, he promoted student volunteerism in such activities as Ruby’s Pantry and helped expand the offerings of the CLC Food Pantry. Ryan was also key contributor in the Student Senate’s effort to register students to vote and educate them on their ability to have a voice in our 2022 Mid-Term Election. In addition, Ryan frequently interacted with the college president and cabinet in order to implement his many initiatives and served on committees that helped shape CLC to be even more responsive to student needs in the future.

Ryan is currently working in Council Bluffs, Iowa, as a Robotics Field Service Engineer for Acieta, a world-renowned Industrial Robotic Automation Company. He knows the foundation he created at CLC will be the reason for his successes tomorrow.

About Jessie Perrine

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