Challenging graduates to use their knowledge to become leaders in the community, Matthew A. Szollosi, state representative for the 49th District, addressed the Owens Community College graduating class, as well as thousands of family and friends at the college’s 43rd annual Spring Commencement.
Rep. Szollosi, who served as the keynote speaker, shared with the 701 graduates, including 133 from the Findlay-area Campus, about taking their “education into our communities in hopes of making a brighter future for themselves, their families and for this state.”
He added, “We need leaders now more than ever, so it is wonderful to see folks in our community stepping up to the plate and doing what they can to build a brighter future for all of Ohio.”
Rep. Szollosi concluded his remarks by telling attendees, “a strong foundation that is rooted in education is a possession that does not fade or grow old over time. Rather, it is an asset that grows more valuable and important as you advance through life. Let your education serve you as you have earned it.”
In addition, Laura Drouard, a registered nursing program student who was selected as the Owens class representative, addressed the graduates during the ceremony.
The Rossford resident initially attended college after graduating from Troy Athens High School, but soon realized it wasn’t the time for her to pursue a college education. Drouard then decided to interview for positions as a flight attendant and accepted the first job she was offered. She spent the next 20 years traveling around the world.
As the years passed, her work environment changed and she knew it was time to begin a new career. In the summer of 2006, she enrolled at Owens with the goal of a future career as a nurse.
Due to her demanding schedule as a flight attendant, Drouard took nearly half of her Owens classes online. She was able to study and complete class work in the early mornings, while the rest of her family was still asleep.
An honors student with a 4.0 grade point average, Drouard is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society and enjoys spending time supporting her children at their respective school activities.