Featured Graduates

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Lindsey Findley and Michelle Jasmer

Butler Student Nineteen-year-old Lindsey’s pursuit of an associate degree in business administration from BC3 @ LindenPointe began with a bedside talk with her best friend, who said the two could attend college together. That best friend is her mother, Michelle Jasmer, 42.

Their graduations represent the culmination of that conversation two years ago, when Michelle sat with Lindsey, according to Lindsey, and said, “If you’re scared to conquer college, then I will go with you and we can be each other’s support systems.”

“And so we did,” Lindsey said. “Let’s just say I would not have been able to do it without her. My mom is my best friend, and I love that she did this with me.”

Added Michelle: “I honestly thought that my chance to go to college was gone. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to attend with my daughter. She was nervous about attending and fitting in. We found strength within each other.”

Lindsey, of West Middlesex, and Michelle, of Greenville, who will transfer to Youngstown State University to pursue bachelor’s degrees in human resources, lauded their experience at BC3 @ LindenPointe. “It is a family,” Lindsey said. “The staff there is so friendly. My brother (Kenneth) graduated last year and John (Suesser, BC3 @ LindenPointe director) still asks how he’s doing. That means so much, knowing that even when you’re gone from there, the staff still wonders how you’re doing.”

Michelle said she got from BC3 @ LindenPointe exactly what she needed.

“A superior education,” she said, “that was local and affordable.”

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Dwayne Evans

Butler Graduate Dwayne Evans Dwayne, 51, has owned a barber shop-salon in New Castle for 25 years, and with the associate degree he will earn in criminology from BC3 @ Lawrence Crossing, will focus on helping troubled youth in the community.

Dwayne, of New Castle, owns Divine Designs on West Washington Street.

“Part of my focus now is on helping troubled youth in the community in which I live, and that gives me the wonderful opportunity to give back, and make a lasting impression that will outlive me,” Dwayne said.

“If I can impact a young person’s life, causing them to maximize their full potential and lead a productive, successful life, that,” Dwayne said, “is certainly the reason I wanted to be a criminology major.”

Dwayne has also served as an assistant pastor in New Castle, and was a member of NAACP and the United Way of Lawrence County executive boards. His wife, Lydia, attended BC3 for pre-nursing courses; and his daughter, Jasmine, graduated from BC3 @ Lawrence Crossing, where his daughter, Noel, is a psychology major.

Dwayne will graduate debt-free – as did Jasmine – from BC3 @ Lawrence Crossing, where “I felt like I was a part of a family,” he said.

“BC3 has been one of the most refreshing experiences of my life. I was unsure in the beginning, but at the end I have become determined, with more direction and purpose in the next venture of my life, thanks to my BC3 family.”

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Courage Houston

Butler Graduate Courage Houston Courage, 19, of Templeton, will be the fourth-youngest graduate in BC3’s Class of 2019. He earned 23 credits toward his associate degree in business administration from BC3 @ Armstrong through BC3’s College Pathways and College Within the High School programs.

Courage will receive a degree at 19 years, four months and 21 days of age. He enrolled in BC3’s high school programming at Grace Christian School in Kittanning to save time toward his goal of earning a juris doctorate.

“I was really trying to take advantage of that,” Courage said of BC3’s high school programming. “I am going to be in school for a very long time because I want to get my doctorate degree and that would take seven or eight years. I feel like that time in high school was a little bit more important to me.”

Courage, who has seven siblings and wants to become a lawyer to “help this country administer justice,” will be among the 75 percent of BC3 graduates who are debt-free, which, he said, “allows me to move forward to the next step in my life without having to worry about that weight on my back.”

BC3 @ Armstrong, Courage said, “wants their students to succeed and do well both in their studies and in their future career. They want you to do what you need to do and move on to what you want to accomplish.”

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Jackie Frampton Walls

Butler Graduate Jackie Frampton Walls Jackie, 57, named a child care center she purchased in honor of her twin sister, Sandy, who passed away in 2011. Jackie’s degree from BC3 @ Brockway will further her dream of becoming a director and teacher at Sandy’s Angels Child Care Center.

Jackie will receive an associate degree in early childhood education (Pre K-4) from BC3 @ Brockway, which, she said, she selected because it is “small, close to home, and because of its cost.” It is also where the DuBois business owner in 2017 earned a degree in child development education.

“I received a quality, affordable degree,” said Jackie, of Reynoldsville. “My education at BC3 @ Brockway will help me to become a teacher because I gained the knowledge to teach with competence.

“I have worked with children throughout my whole life,” said Jackie, an aunt of six nieces and one nephew. “With not having children of my own, my center gives me the opportunity to be a meaningful part of children's lives. I feel as if each student at my center is part of my extended family.”

Her BC3 @ Brockway education will benefit children at Sandy’s Angels.

“Children are our future and every child is a gift,” Jackie said. “The enjoyment I get from helping teach a child to read, a new word, or to tie a shoe is so fulfilling. My passion for children has always been there and I feel now I am where I want and need to be in my career, with help from BC3 @ Brockway.”

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Candice Marie Pennington

Butler Graduate Candice Marie Pennington Candice, 36, of Renfrew, served five years in the Army as a combat medic. Her associate degree in Nursing, R.N., from BC3’s main campus will help the 2002 Butler Senior High School graduate pursue her goal of becoming a nurse educator.

“I love to help people attain the A-ha! moment,” Candice said. “That moment when the information presented to someone clicks and they feel more confident in the subject they were previously struggling with. I want to pass on my love of learning about the human body and how we, as nurses, care for people.”

Her choice of attending BC3’s program was an A-ha! moment.

“Year after year BC3 is ranked the No. 1 community college in Pennsylvania and as a student, I agree,” Candice said of BC3’s three top rankings by Schools.com. “BC3 is highly affordable. The BC3 nursing program has a terrific reputation for setting future nurses up to become incredible caretakers. The challenging academic load has prepared me for the hard work still ahead.”

Her 11-year-old daughter is also looking ahead to attending BC3, Candice said, where “They continue to make improvements to the campus and offer classes and equipment that are suited to this technological day and age. At the same time, they are able to keep the old traditions alive that makes a small campus community feel like home.

“Having the time to say hi to people I pass rather than running across a massive campus to get to my next class is always nice.”

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Maya Hampson

Butler Graduate Maya Hampson Maya, 19, a 2017 Seneca Valley High School graduate, sings, plays the guitar, ukulele, mandolin and bodhran, and often writes her own songs. Her experience at BC3 @ Cranberry was instrumental to her dream of becoming a music therapist.

BC3 @ Cranberry’s faculty and staff “are amazing,” Maya said. “They have always provided help for me when other schools would probably tell me to figure it out myself. The teachers are experienced in the courses they teach. Every teacher I have had has had an active role in the field that correlates to what subject they are teaching.”

Her instructors, said Maya, of Cranberry Township, “use their experience from the field and apply it in the classroom, which really supplemented my learning experience, as well as made the course feel more applicable and more exciting to hear about.”

It is exciting to graduate debt-free -- “I will have more time to invest in furthering my career goals and personal character development without worrying about a looming cloud of financial debt” – and to think about one day combining her two passions.

“Music,” Maya said, “and taking care of people who are struggling with mental illnesses and mental disabilities.

“I really believe it can help people recover from debilitating mental illnesses like depression and anxiety. I’ve always been a nurturer. Helping people is something that truly makes me happy. Watching people overcome these issues would be so rewarding to see and be a part of.”

Lindsey Findley & Michelle Jasmer

BC3 Graduates Lindsay Findley and Michelle Jasmer

Nineteen-year-old Lindsey’s pursuit of an associate degree in business administration from BC3 @ LindenPointe began with a bedside talk with her best friend, who said the two could attend college together. That best friend is her mother, Michelle Jasmer, 42.

Read more

Dwayne Evans

BC3 Graduate Dwayne Evans

Dwayne, 51, has owned a barber shop-salon in New Castle for 25 years, and with the associate degree he will earn in criminology from BC3 @ Lawrence Crossing, will focus on helping troubled youth in the community.

Read more

Courage Houston

BC3 Graduate Courage Houston

Courage, 19, of Templeton, will be the fourth-youngest graduate in BC3’s Class of 2019. He earned 23 credits toward his associate degree in business administration from BC3 @ Armstrong through BC3’s College Pathways and College Within the High School programs.

Read more

Jackie Frampton Walls

BC3 Graduate Jackie Frampton Walls

Jackie, 57, named a child care center she purchased in honor of her twin sister, Sandy, who passed away in 2011. Jackie’s degree from BC3 @ Brockway will further her dream of becoming a director and teacher at Sandy’s Angels Child Care Center.

Read more

Candice Marie Pennington

BC3 Graduate Candice Marie Pennington

Candice, 36, of Renfrew, served five years in the Army as a combat medic. Her associate degree in Nursing, R.N., from BC3’s main campus will help the 2002 Butler Senior High School graduate pursue her goal of becoming a nurse educator.

Read more

Maya Hampson

BC3 Graduate Maya Hampson

Maya, 19, a 2017 Seneca Valley High School graduate, sings, plays the guitar, ukulele, mandolin and bodhran, and often writes her own songs. Her experience at BC3 @ Cranberry was instrumental to her dream of becoming a music therapist.

Read more