A Mother-Son triumph: Duo graduates together at Clovis Community College

Bianca Allen and her son, Jesse Allen (Photo Clovis Community College)

May 16, 2024 – As the sprawling grounds of Clovis Community College prepare to be adorned with banners and balloons, the stage is set for a momentous occasion. This Friday, May 17th, marks the 9th annual commencement ceremony, a celebration of dedication, perseverance, and the pursuit of higher education. Among the nearly 400 graduates taking center stage, there shines a story that resonates deeply with the Clovis community.

Bianca Allen and her son, Jesse Allen, stand side by side, a testament to the power of support only a family can bring. In a remarkable twist of fate, this African American mother and son duo are both poised to receive their degrees on the same stage, an accomplishment that speaks volumes about their unwavering determination and commitment to education.

Their journey to this moment has been filled with challenges, yet through every obstacle, they have stood together, supported by a shared dream of academic success. For Bianca, the road to graduation has been marked by sacrifices and late-night study sessions squeezed in between her family responsibilities. And alongside her every step of the way, Jesse has been her rock, offering encouragement and motivation when the going got tough.

But their story is not just one of personal triumph; it is also a reflection of the values and opportunities afforded by Clovis Community College. And now, as they prepare to walk across the stage together, mother and son, their achievement serves as a beacon of hope for others in the community, proving that with hard work and determination, anything is possible.

As Bianca and Jesse prepare for their names to be called, for the cheers to erupt from friends, family, and fellow graduates, for the chorus of support that will echo across the campus, they prepare not just as individuals receiving degrees; they prepare as symbols of resilience, inspiration, and the unbreakable bond between a mother and her son.

This heartening tale not only highlights the determination of Bianca and Jesse but also emphasizes Clovis Community College’s dedication to empowering students of all backgrounds to pursue higher education. Additionally, as evidenced by their latest accolades, including being ranked #1 in California for Latinx students’ and first-generation students’ rate of transfer to 4-year institutions, Clovis Community College remains steadfast in its mission to facilitate student success and upward mobility.

The story of Bianca and Jesse is just one of many that will be celebrated. As President Dr. Kim E. Armstrong takes the stage to confer degrees and certificates upon the graduates, she does so with a sense of pride and accomplishment, knowing that each one represents a unique journey of fortitude and determination.

Among the graduates honored for their exceptional achievements is Stephanie Gomez, recipient of the prestigious President’s Medal of Distinction. The President’s Medal is given to a student who has demonstrated leadership at the college, given back to the college or community, and still maintained high academic achievement during their time at Clovis Community College.

Additionally, the ceremony sees the recognition of outstanding leadership and academic excellence with the presentation of the Dean’s Medal of Distinction to Sergeant Shane Armstrong, David Baize, Ariel Davis, Sabrina Gonzales, Amanda Vadeboncoeur, and Ziyue “Sue” Xue. The Dean’s Medal of Distinction is given to one graduating student from each division who has distinguished themselves by their perseverance, the quality of their work, and their positive impact on the campus.

The 9th annual commencement ceremony will be held on Friday, May 17th at 6:00 p.m. at Clovis Community College outside at the corner of N. Willow Avenue and E. International Avenue. The event is free and open to the public.