Bakersfield College's 109th Commencement Ceremony To Be Held On Campus At Memorial Stadium On May 12, 2023

bc 108th commencement

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Bakersfield College is proud to announce its 109th Commencement Ceremony will take place on Friday, May 12, 2023, at Memorial Stadium. The ceremony will be a celebration of the hard work and dedication of the graduating Renegade class of 2023. The ceremony will begin promptly at 7:00PM and friends and family are invited to attend to show their support for the graduates.

“We are once again excited to welcome and honor our graduates to celebrate their accomplishments,” said Bakersfield College's Dean of Students, Dr. Nicky Damania. “I have no doubt that our BC graduates will make a positive impact within our communities and I am eager to wish them the best as they embark on the next chapter of their lives.”

Bakersfield College has a long-standing tradition of providing quality education to students in the Bakersfield and greater Kern County region. The college offers a variety of programs including associate degrees, certificates, transfer programs to four-year universities, and a baccalaureate degree.

For more information about Bakersfield College's Commencement ceremony, please visit BC's graduation webpage.

Class of 2023 Renegade Graduate Spotlights

Harvind Grewal

Harvind Grewal - BC student

Harvind is a first-generation international student who has earned a 3.83 GPA and has been recognized for his academic achievements. He holds the SGA Director of Legislative Affairs position and has been doing fantastic work for our campus and student body. He is on track to graduate this spring semester with honors and will transfer to a UC in the fall. Harvind is a stellar student and a leader inside and outside the classroom. His goal is to attend Law school in the future.

Jasmine Martinez

Jasmine Martinez BC Student

Jasmine Martinez is a single mom of two while double majoring in Sociology and Psychology at Bakersfield College. She is part of EOPS, CARE and CW and maintains a 4.0 GPA. Aside from caring for her two children, Jasmine has struggled with depression and anxiety throughout most of her adult life and never imagined returning to college at the age of twenty-six to obtain a degree. Despite her circumstances, the faculty at Bakersfield College guided her through the enrollment process which has allowed her to become the successful student and mom that she is today. She is on track to graduate in the Spring of 2023 and plans to attend CSUB following graduation.

Jessica Parada

Jessica Parada graduating student 2023

Jessica is a hard-working, self-driven, and highly motivated student. While studying at BC she has proven that she is a stellar student by being recognized for her academic achievements by earning a 3.63 GPA.

Jessica has accomplished her goals while working and caring for her two children. Jessica will graduate this spring with an AS in Human Biology and is on track to become a Registered Nurse.

Josefina Gomez

Josefina Gomez graduating student 2023

For most of her life, Josefina Gomez Ruvalcaba, 34, put her own goals on hold to help her family. Growing up in Mexico, the middle sibling of three girls, she went to work at age 12 to help provide for the family and then took care of her mother when she fell ill. After marrying and moving to the United States, she had two daughters of her own and then realized it was now or never if she wanted to go back to school.

In 2016, she enrolled in the Bakersfield Adult School and then transitioned to Bakersfield College in 2019. She graduates in May with a double major in Spanish and American Sign Language. She hopes to eventually start an outreach program to help Spanish-speaking families with deaf family members learn and understand American Sign Language so they can fully participate in their deaf loved ones' life and care.

Despite the difficulty in her life, Josefina credits it with helping her to persevere and pursue her educational goals.

“You have to have those downs to appreciate when you're up. If you don't face problems, you think or feel like the world owes you. You suffer, you get up, you fall, you shake it off and keep walking,” she said. “You take what you have and do the best you can.”

Subrina Sanchez

Subrina Sanchez graduating student 2023

When Subrina Sanchez graduated high school in 2010, her infant daughter was in the crowd as she walked across the stage. A teen mom, she struggled in the intervening years to provide for her daughter as a single parent in pricey Santa Barbara County.

In 2018, she made the move to Bakersfield with a plan to work for a year and then enroll at Bakersfield College. In May, her three children and husband will be in Memorial Stadium as they watch her graduate with a degree in accounting.

“It was definitely a journey - being a mom so young and growing up so quickly. And understanding there was a time when I had to put my wants and needs on the back burner to give my kid what they needed,” she said. “I'm proud and grateful and humble to know l'll be graduating college with my three kids there.”

Hortense Taylor and Aaron Beal

Hortense Taylor and Aaron Beal graduating students 2023

Hortense Taylor has much to look forward to in May.

On May 12, the 43-year-old mother of three will graduate from Bakersfield College with a degree in early childhood education alongside her middle son, Aaron Beal, 23, who will earn a degree in math. The next day is Aaron's birthday and the following day is Mother's Day.

And at that point, graduating from Bakersfield College will pretty much be a family tradition. Hortense's eldest son, age 26, is already a graduate and her youngest, who is 21, is a current student.

Hortense started college after high school but soon left to work and support her three young kids. When the pandemic hit, she was working in home care and then everything shut down. It seemed like the perfect time to go back to school.

It was hard but she credits the Umoja, which both she and her son were part of, with helping her to make it through.

“Everyone worked as a team and he we are,” she said.

Both Hortense and Aaron plan to continue their studies and earn bachelor's degrees.

Barbie Hernandez

Barbie Hernandez graduating students 2023

Barbie Hernandez is a full time student at Bakersfield College who juggles schoolwork and motherhood. She is part of EOPS and the calworks program which have helped her stay on track with her academic goals. Despite the challenges she faces, she has maintained honor roll, is part of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and is on track to graduate this spring at the 2023 commencement. Her plan after graduation is to continue her education at Cal State University of Bakersfield in hopes of becoming a school psychologist. She wants to positively impact the lives of those who struggle with learning disabilities just as her own child does.