CFCC graduates have stories of hope and inspiration - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

CFCC graduates have stories of hope and inspiration, despite tough economy

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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - 945 students graduated from Cape Fear Community College on Friday night, making it the school's largest graduating class in the school's history.

For some graduates at CFCC, today is a fresh start.

There are several non-traditional students who have stories of hope.

Theresa Handy, 42, a mother of a high school senior, found herself out of work when the economy tanked.

Even though she had a degree in chemistry, she struggled to find work.

So, she started over and enrolled at CFCC.

Now, she has a new diploma in Machining Technology.

She has already landed a new job.

"The skills I learned are the things that led me to land a job with GE Nuclear," said Handy.

Similarly, husband and wife, Dennis and Stephanie Webster, graduated together.

Both were laid off from the same company. Now, both have degrees and life lessons they will pass down to their baby. Stephanie is due in 6 weeks. Meantime, Dennis has a full-time job lined up at Progress Energy.

Chantelle Manchester also lost her job, during these tough economic times. She decided to enroll in CFCC's Interior Design program.

"I took a chance on something that I always wanted to try and I couldn't be happier,"

She also has a job lined up at Blue Sky Building, in Brunswick County.

She credits her new college education with her new employment.

Manchester has advice for others who find themselves in her shoes.

"Go and get an education," she said. "See where it takes you! Give it a try!"

Handy, the Webster's and Manchester are four success stories, as they turn their tassels and turn to a new chapter in life.

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