Class of 2017: NC graduation a family tradition for international student

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From left to right- Valentina Garcia Hurtado, graduate; Dan Patterson, NC president

Spring Convocation Ceremonies brings thousands of families to the Welland Campus to watch those they love cross the finish line of their postsecondary education; for at least one family, this graduation signified so much more than that.

When Valentina Garcia Hurtado graduated from the College’s Broadcasting- Radio, Television and Film program on June 23, she became last member of her family to both graduate from NC and come out of the school with a fantastic job.

When Hurtado was in high school, her parents decided to move to Canada from Valencia, Venezuela for a North-American education and a chance at a better life. After hearing about the Niagara region and the college campuses within its borders, her father was immediately attracted to Niagara College. From there, both of Hurtado’s parents and her older brother would finish at the College; this graduation marks the last of her family to receive a diploma from the school with help from the College’s International division.

“Because of my dad being at Niagara College, we’ve been able to do so much,” Hurtado said. “Knowing that Niagara College is paying attention and recognizing our accomplishments – that meant a lot. I would recommend it to anyone.

“Any college can give you an education, but if you want to have a great learning experience where you know you’re genuinely cared about, go to Niagara College.”

With the skills that the BRTF program has helped her hone, Hurtado worked with the media who covered the PanAm Games, and has certainly come a long way from the person who first enrolled at NC. Hurtado is now working at Dome Productions in Toronto but she still considers Welland, the place she’s lived for the six years she’s been in Canada, as her true home.

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