Graduation speakers encourage connections

Online Editor

Amarillo College officials have selected two students to speak at the spring commencement ceremonies May 13 at Hodgetown Stadium.

Anthony Diller, a respiratory care major, will speak at the 3 p.m. ceremony for the health services, industry and public service communities.

“It’s not just my day, right?” Diller said. “This is the day of so many hundreds of other people and the culmination of so many hundreds of other lives and stories that have come to this precise moment. These things could have gone any thousands of ways, but they all lead to this moment right here.”

Diller wore a bracelet he received from an instructor in his first week of college that states “success is the only option.” The phrase left an impression.

“The idea that this is important, this isn’t just something that you can just take all willy-nilly and walk away from whenever you feel frustrated,” Diller said.

Anthony Diller

Osyris Padilla, an education major, will speak at the 7 p.m. ceremony for the business, creative arts, computer information systems, education and liberal arts communities. According to Padilla, it’s difficult to keep track of everything she has been involved with on campus, even for her.

“I am in Blue Blazers, Presidential Scholars, Phi Theta Kappa and Student Government Association,” she said. “I was also peer mentor, I am involved in multiple committees such as the financial aid committee, my own committee that I had during the school year for SGA,” Padilla added.

Padilla said her club mentors and peers were a source of motivation during her AC journey.

“I have an amazing support system,” she said. “It just goes with how involved I am. All the friends that I’ve made in the
clubs. Every single one of them are my support system.”

Osyris Padilla

Padilla encouraged students to make connections.

“Definitely get involved, even if it’s just attending events and getting a free T- shirt or getting free food,” Padilla said. “Enjoy your college experience. Try to enjoy it as much as you can.”

Diller had similar advice.

“I imagine it can be intimidating for anyone – coming straight out of high school, all the way up to someone who’s in their fifties trying to go back and get that degree or that certificate,” he said. “There’s such a communal atmosphere at the school, and people are excited to be here. The best advice I can give is to really commit yourself. Dive in and make those connections.”

Photos by Andrew Terry | The Ranger

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