Liberty speaking at the graduation podium

As we celebrate our graduates this spring, we hear many powerful stories about their experienceboth in college and in life. More often than not, they’re stories of overcoming significant obstacles to reach their dreams.

We get to hear from some of these students during our graduation ceremonies. We call them our “Voices.” This spring, we’re sharing several of their speeches with you here.

We hope you learn something worthwhile from each our our graduate’s voices.

Liberty Hudson: Gateway to College Graduate

Herman Cain reminds us that:

“Success is not the key to happiness; happiness is the key to success.”

My name is Liberty Hudson and tonight, I am proud to say that I am a graduate of the Gateway to College program.

Gateway to College gives students the opportunity to graduate from high school while earning college creditin short, it gives students a second chance.  

A Break From School

When I first came to Front Range Community College, I hadn’t been to school in two years. Part of that time away was due to COVID, but mostly, I stayed away because of how I felt; I didn’t get along with a lot of people and that made attending school hard.

I was passing most of my classes before COVID started. Going to remote school also made it super hard for me to connect with my teachers and the students.

Finding Support

Right before my junior year, I met someone who changed my life. They helped me realize what I was capable of and how important it was for me to finish school; through their support, I finally found my motivation.

My counselor at the time, Wade Clause, told me he thought I would be a good fit for the Gateway Program—and he was 100% correct. Since I’ve joined Gateway, I have excelled; I stopped ditching classes, did my homework, and began passing.

I went from a 1.6 GPA to a 3.88 GPA, and was even asked to join the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

Finding Happiness

As a first-generation college student at Front Range, I found happiness in school again. Gateway gave me an opportunity to not only finish my high school career, but they also BELIEVED in me. They have provided endless support and encouragement, and I will forever be grateful for this program and the advisors.

I also want to thank Wade Clause for pushing me to join the program, my family for supporting me along this exciting journey, and my boyfriend for helping me find the motivation to go back to school.

A New Chapter

Fellow graduates, tonight we walk across this stage—and tomorrow, we begin the next chapter in our lives. Start it with confidence and excitement.

You’ve worked incredibly hard for this moment, and for what follows. Do what’s going to make YOU happy in the end.

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