HENDERSON, Nev. - Each college graduate at Nevada State College's commencement Friday night has something that makes getting a degree that much more special.
"It's exciting. I'm actually the first in my family to graduate, so I mean that's a big accomplishment for me," said graduate Magaly Hernandez. "I'm really excited and happy. It was a lot to go through, but this moment makes it worthwhile."
"It means a lot actually. It was a very long, excruciating journey in nursing school," said graduate Shantel White.
"I'm proud of my accomplishments," added graduate Michael Intinarelli. "I worked really hard to get here, but maybe it just feels surreal. That's the best word for it."
Nevada State College graduated its largest class ever Friday night. The workforce now has a new crop of nurses, psychologists, and educators to choose from, but that doesn't mean those jobs are available.
"Actually very scared, Las Vegas isn't very new grad friendly," White said.
She has reason for concern. According to a study by Rutgers University, nearly 50% of college students who graduated during the last five years are now unemployed or underemployed. The study also found today's graduates are less optimistic. The ones who walked the stage Friday night are determined to defy the odds and get a job.
"I believe in myself, and I believe college has prepared me enough to go out and face the world and the challenges," Hernandez said.
"I'm kind of worried. I may have to move to a different state or look for a job somewhere else," White said.
"The economy is bad, yes it is, however, there's no substitute for good old fashioned gumption," Intinarelli said. "Just sitting around waiting for someone to add you to the workforce just isn't going to do it."
Three hundred students graduated from Nevada State College Friday night. UNLV holds its graduation Saturday. CSN's graduation is scheduled May 21st.
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