TCC Grads: Family Celebrations

Mills family
Denise Mills, left, and daughter, Amanda

Denise Mills and her daughter, Amanda, already shared an introduction to sign language at young ages so they could communicate with non-hearing friends. Now, they both have the distinction of graduating from TCC’s American Sign Language Program.

Denise originally was going to take a few hours to complete her foreign language requirement to enter a four-year university. Since she was homeschooling her daughter, Amanda, she suggested she enter the program along with her, but as a dual credit student.

“We got into the program and really loved it,” said Amanda, who plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in linguistics.  “It was a rigorous program and very challenging.”

As a part of the program, she and her mother have contributed numerous hours of service as volunteer interpreters at a camp for people with disabilities and as part of a police department arts program. Now, their next challenge is to get pass the Board for Evaluation of Interpreters. Amanda recently took her examination and Denise will take hers in July.

Proud Dad Participates
Cameron Maurice Smith is not the first in his family to graduate college,  yet his graduation was a special one for his father, Charles Smith. It was the first one where the elder Smith, Southeast Campus Learning Coordinator, donned regalia and participated with one of his offspring.

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith in processional.

“I have always been an observer in the stadium looking down on a sea of graduates. . .and screaming to the top of my voice upon the call of my child’s name,” said Smith, the father of six.  “This time, as I sat with faculty and staff for the first time, I debated on the proper etiquette.”

The decision  was quickly made once he remembered his wife’s counsel that “you have one opportunity to go wild. . .then etiquette went out the door,” he said. “The yelling was not only for Cameron but for me, too, and the fact that I could cross through another name.”

It was enjoyed by the younger Smith as well. “Having my regalia-clad father sit next to me in the arena section and then receiving a bear hug from him immediately upon leaving the stage” made the ceremony special for him.

Following the path of older siblings armed with college hours upon high school graduation, Cameron entered TCC as a dual credit student. “Honestly, I had not a clue of what I wanted to major in when I graduated from high school.  Realizing early on that I needed more time, my parents suggested that I work toward an associate’s degree. . .so, I could give more thought to a field of study,” said the younger Smith, who will pursue a degree in computer security at Dallas Baptist University.

Check out more graduation stories here:

Lisa Hernandez
Lisa Hernandez says TCC honed her skills. Click image to see video.
Dental Hygiene Graduates
Dental Hygiene graduates are all smiles. Click image to see video.
Shuntae Davis
Shuntae Davis explains why she chose TCC. Click image to see video.