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Jennifer Bergstad

If you are determined to learn, NO ONE CAN STOP YOU


“Thank you, Dr. Ryan. Fellow Graduates. Family. Friends and Staff, it is an honor to be a part of the 2022 graduation here at Yavapai College. I am honored, moved, and honestly, terrified to be speaking here today.

I first want to take a moment and thank our family and friends for helping us all get here today. It was your support, time and coaching that helped form us into college graduates. Thank you.

I also want to thank President Dr. Rhine, Board members, advisors, professors and staff for your vision and dedication here at Yavapai College. Your belief in the students, in your programs and desire to bring quality education to our community has change all our lives forever. What Yavapai College has to offer not only the Verde Valley, but all Yavapai county is phenomenal. It brings access to education to working families, such as myself and now even state of the art trade school classes. I personally have never felt more supported and cared about in my whole schooling career than I have here. Yavapai College is more than classes, it is a community and even a family to some because of what you do, so thank you.

As a high school drop-out, and a teenage mom, college was never on my radar. I worked hard and had little time to do much of anything. As my kids got older, I realized that helping people was my passion, and my sister inspired me to pursue nursing. I started taking one class at a time back in 2016 until I could meet my pre-requisites for Nursing. To be honest, I never really thought I would get there, but I had a community behind me pushing me forward. I was beyond blessed by multiple scholarships, allowing me to focus solely on school and not on how to pay for it. I joined Students of Leadership, became the President of the Student Nurse Association and was a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. In 2020 I was accepted into the Nursing program and began my journey as a full-time student.

As we all know, 2020 brought changes none of us could expect. We went on spring break and never came back to the facility. Classes that were in person were now creatively move to the online platform. Now I am not sure how this looked for everyone, but for Nursing it meant ZOOM. Oh ZOOM! We all had so much to learn, including what we now refer to as “Zoom Etiquette”. We were learning alongside our facility as we all navigated how to do College during a Pandemic. I am not going to sugar coat it; it was NOT easy! But despite all the challenges, the college continued classes and got creative. Who knew you could practice IV’s on Bananas?!

We are all here today because of our will to succeed, our drive to better our lives and to grow as adults. I commend you all for pushing forward despite the Pandemic. Your resilience is remarkable. As we all move forward in our lives, whether it is to our new careers or continue our education, remember what you have learned here during this time. You are strong, you can overcome many obstacles and even when the world stops you can continue! In closing, I want to share a quote by Zig Ziglar “ If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, NO ONE CAN STOP YOU”.

Read more about Jennifer Bergstad and her passion for nursing here.