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2014 Valedictorian and Salutatorian Recognized for High Academic and Community Achievements

Yovanny Cruz came to NVCC three years ago with doubts about returning to college. As a first generation college student, and having her own young family to care for, she wasn’t sure how she would manage her time.

But on May 29, Cruz graduated from Naugatuck Valley Community College as the 2014 Valedictorian with an associate degree in human services and a perfect 4.0 grade point average. She is an alumna of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, the NVCC President's Circle and the Honors Institute, and a Who's Who Among Students In American Universities and Colleges. This year, she also received the Anna-Margaret Fabisiak Distinguished Student Award, Human Services Award - Child and Family Services, and the Melanie Ilene Rieger Memorial Scholarship.

“Learning is so powerful and for most of us we enroll in college to learn the skills that prepare us for a future job and secure us financially,” said Cruz. “Whether it is to help our family or to become independent from our parents, we are always planning for the future. We may have desirable jobs, money, and prestigious positions in mind, but in the process we gain so much more.” 

In addition to high marks, Cruz’s work outside of the classroom has been equally impressive. She engaged in numerous community service and campus leadership activities and was recognized in particular for her leadership at the St. Vincent De Paul Homeless Shelter and Soup Kitchen.

Her professor, Kathleen Leblanc, says she “is not a student who dabbles in many activities to expand her list of achievements. She wholeheartedly and passionately commits her time, energy and unique talents…. and she enjoys being involved in activities that improve the lives of other people, especially those in need.”

We agree. And we know that she will continue to be successful next year at the University of Saint Joseph.

This year’s Salutatorian, Joshua Johnson, achieved an outstanding 3.95 GPA and earned three associate degrees, all with summa cum laude distinction, in just three years at NVCC.

Most recently a hospitality major, he served as student-banquet manager in the Naugatuck Events Management club. He also graduates as president of the business honor society, Alpha Beta Gamma, Tau Chapter, and the NVCC Veterans' Club. He is a Phi Theta Kappa member, President’s Circle alumnus, a Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities And Colleges, the 2013 recipient of the Christopher Love Memorial and Naugatuck Events Management scholarship awards, and a member of the stage society, to name a few endeavors.

Best of luck to both of our impressive graduates!

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