TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A record 3,896 students graduated from Pima Community College on Thursday night, May 19, at the Tucson Convention Center Arena.
About 1,000 graduates walked across the stage and received their degrees. The TCC arena, which holds over 9,000 people at capacity, was filled with loved ones.
Among the graduates was Rodrigo Slacido, a recipient of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship.
Salcido is one of just 75 across the entire country to have been selected for this scholarship, which can be used to attend any university.
Also among the graduates was Tracy Martin. "I graduated with my GED when I was 37," Martin said.
Now, at 42, she's earned her degree in business management.
"Never thought this day would come because my mom just passed away about 4 months ago...I'm a recovering addict and I didn't think this day was going to come," Martin said.
Martin said she hopes her story, and others like her, serve as a reminder that anything is possible with some hard work and dedication.
"If you want to do it, do it. Take it one day at a time," Martin said.
Francy Luna Diaz, a candidate for an Associate of Arts, Liberal Art and Honors Certificate, was the commencement speaker.
The oldest graduate, 75-year-old Roger Christner, earned a Certificate in Social Services, Substance Use Disorders Specialty. The youngest graduate, 17-year-old Cody Belksma, earned a Certificate in Automotive Mechanics.
PCC awarded a record combined total of 6,365 degrees and certificates to students.
Many graduates earn more than one degree and/or certificate.