Students pursue their education despite the odds at Triton College

Inspiring stories of college students set to graduate May 19 who overcame setbacks in pursuit of their education

River Grove, Ill. – Nelida Cardoso, a Triton College accounting major from Melrose Park, will be the first person in her family to graduate with a college degree in May when Triton College has its 46th Annual Triton College Commencement on Saturday, May 19.

“I’m very proud of myself to say that I have earned my degree, and knowing that it’ll open more doors for me in the job market is exciting,” she said with plans to pursue her bachelor’s degree at National Louis University. “Triton has helped me to grow and mature and has been a positive experience for me.”

Cardoso is one of many graduates who will walk across the stage of the Akoo Theatre at Rosemont (formerly the Rosemont Theatre) to receive their diploma during Triton’s commencement ceremony in May. Commencement is at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 19.

  • Mary Hudson of Maywood enjoys baking and wanted to learn everything she could to satisfy her family's sweet tooth. At age 58 and after taking courses at Triton for two years, Hudson will graduate with a certificate in Baking and Pastry at Triton College.
  • Matteo A. Ribaudo of Westchester proves it’s never too late to pursue a higher education. At age 69 and retired from the printing industry, the Sicilian-born student will graduate with an associate’s degree in general studies in May. He credits Triton’s instructors for his accomplishment and drive to continue learning. “The teachers challenged me and left a positive impression on me of the college,” he said. Ribaudo is considering pursuing his bachelor’s degree.
  • Bryant Orange of Chicago is known for his basketball skills on the court, being named a NJCAA All-American, and for his friendship with Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose. But at Triton, he put all of that in the backseat in pursuit of his education. He went to four other community colleges before finding Triton College as a suitable, supportive fit to get his education and still pursue his interest in basketball. He’ll be graduating with his associate’s degree in May.
  • Minerva “Minnie” Fuentes of Berwyn is set to graduate with an associate’s in arts degree from Triton College on May 19 – the first to graduate with a college degree in her immediate family. But she’s not the only one her family graduating from Triton College this month. Her 6-year-old daughter, Maribell Flores, is graduating from Triton’s Kindergarten program of the Child Development Center the following week on May 24. Minerva is a prize student – president of the student government, Student Trustee etc. – and she still makes time to raise her precocious daughter, who following graduation will attend Prairie Oak School in Berwyn as a first grader. Maribell’s dream is to be president of Triton College or a veterinarian – maybe both. “My daughter doesn’t quite understand how important this graduation is for mommy, but she’ll tell me ‘You’re graduating like me. I love you mommy, and I’m very proud of you.’”

Triton boasts a diverse graduating class that represents 101 different villages and towns – including 23 towns from within Triton’s surrounding district and the rest from as far away as Oklahoma, Georgia, Florida, Ohio and even international students.

The Akoo Theatre at Rosemont is located at 5400 N. River Road, Rosemont. For more information about commencement, visit www.triton.edu/commencement.

Our graduating students have inspiring messages to share and fascinating stories to tell about their journey to graduation. And we invite you to talk with our students, many of which are from your coverage area, for any communications you are planning to produce for the graduating season. To attend Commencement or to interview or photograph any Triton students or faculty, contact Public Relations Writer Alicia Roberson as (708) 456-0300, ext. 3608, or e-mail aroberso@triton.edu.

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ABOUT TRITON COLLEGE

Triton College is one of the nation’s premier two-year institutions of higher education dedicated to student success. Located 14 miles from downtown Chicago, in River Grove, the school offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs at its 100-acre campus that features state-of-the-art facilities and a comfortable, friendly and diverse atmosphere. More than 17,000 students enroll at Triton each year to take advantage of Triton’s small, accessible classes, qualified faculty and affordability and financial assistance. Triton College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission; member, North Central Association.

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About Us

Triton College is one of the nation’s premier two-year institutions of higher education dedicated to student success. Close to Chicago, in River Grove, the school offers more than 100 degree & certificate programs at its 100-acre campus with state-of-the-art facilities and a friendly, diverse atmosphere. More than 17,000 students enroll at Triton each year to take advantage of its qualified faculty and affordability. Triton is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission; member, North Central Association.

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Quick facts

Triton College will have its 46th Annual Triton College Commencement at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 19 at Akoo Theatre at Rosemont (formerly Rosemont Theatre).
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Media will need credentials in order to attend the Triton College Commencement. Contact Alicia Roberson at (708) 456-0300, ext. 3608, or at aroberso@triton.edu, to request your credentials.
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Quotes

Triton College has helped me to grow and mature and has been a positive experience for me.
Nelida Cardoso, Triton College student, lives in Melrose Park