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Boyce Selected to Speak at JALC Commencement

Christina Boyce received her diploma at John A. Logan College’s 44th Annual Commencement Ceremony last Thursday.  A resident of Makanda, she earned her associate degree in business administration and accounting with a perfect 4.0 GPA and was selected to be the student speaker at graduation. (Logan Media Services photo)

Christina Boyce received her diploma at John A. Logan College’s 44th Annual Commencement Ceremony last Thursday. A resident of Makanda, she earned her associate degree in business administration and accounting with a perfect 4.0 GPA and was selected to be the student speaker at graduation. (Logan Media Services photo)

BY TERI CAMPBELL
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – Christina Boyce believes in seizing an opportunity when it comes her way. That’s the message she shared with her fellow graduates and the audience at John A. Logan College’s 44th Annual Commencement Ceremony held Thursday in the Donald L. Brewer Gymnasium and Convocation Center.

Boyce, a resident of Makanda and a 1996 graduate of Highland High School, put her own college aspirations on hold while she raised her family.

“I started going to college right after high school,” Boyce said. “I wasn’t even there a month when I found out I was pregnant. Since I wouldn’t be able to finish out the year, my husband, Tim, and I decided it would be best if I withdrew right then. I had always planned to go to college so I was a little disappointed, but it all worked out in the end. I became a mom and I decided to homeschool my kids.”

When her children, Gabrielle and Tim Jr., were 14 and 12, the family decided it was time to attend a regular school, and Boyce decided it was time for her to go to college. She enrolled in JALC in the spring of 2011 where she excelled, earning a perfect 4.0 GPA every semester.

“I just had fun. I enjoy learning,” Boyce said. “I think being out of school for a while and having some life experience helped when I came back and started taking classes. I really liked it, and I was ready to learn.”

Boyce admits there were some anxious moments in the beginning.

“I was a little nervous and unsure when I started because it had been so long since I’d been in school,” she said. “I was used to being at home and being with the kids all the time, and I was suddenly doing something very different. I was also the first person in my family to go to college so I didn’t really have anyone I could go to when I had questions or to help me figure things out.”

Boyce got involved in the TRiO Program at Logan. TRiO is a federal program designed to improve educational opportunities and increase college retention and graduation rates of first-generation, low-income, and disabled college students

“Jennifer Rose was my TRiO mentor and she was great,” Boyce said. “She was helpful and supportive. I could go to her when I needed advice about something.”

Boyce also joined Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for community colleges. During the 2012-13 academic year, she was the president of Logan’s chapter and also served as the vice president of the organization’s southern district in Illinois.

“Being in Phi Theta Kappa was a wonderful experience,” Boyce said. “It gave me opportunities to be in leadership roles and to travel to conferences and hear some great speakers. I feel like I learned so much. It also gave me many opportunities to better myself and to help others.”

Boyce’s efforts in the classroom and her extracurricular activities did not go unnoticed at the college. She garnered numerous honors and awards, including Outstanding Business Administration and Accounting Student, 2013 Phi Theta Kappa All-USA Academic Team/Illinois, Presidential Citation Award, Outstanding Student Leader Award, and President’s Distinguished Service Award.

Dr. Tim Daugherty, vice president of administrative services at JALC, said Boyce was a wonderful choice to be the student speaker at graduation.

“Christina has truly been a leader at the college,” Daugherty said. “She epitomizes what can be achieved with hard work and dedication. She has been active and engaged in campus activities and maintained excellent grades all while balancing her family responsibilities and obligations. I congratulate her on her many accomplishments.”

Boyce earned her associate degree in business administration and accounting at Logan and plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in accounting at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

“I really enjoyed my time at Logan,” Boyce said. “I tried to take advantage of every opportunity I could, and I had a very positive experience. I’m now ready to move on with the next chapter of my life, and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens.”