Pasco-Hernando State College (PHSC) will host a virtual commencement on Wednesday, December 16 at 4 p.m. for winter 2020 graduates. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, students did not get the chance to have a traditional commencement so a virtual ceremony was an alternate way to celebrate their success. We know many of our students were disappointed to miss out on an in-person commencement and the chance to walk across the stage, but we hope this virtual commencement helps to honor their amazing accomplishments.

The event will stream live at and on PHSC’s social media channels. Graduating students who opted to participate in the virtual ceremony were asked to submit a photo for the video. Speeches were recorded from Timothy L. Beard, Ph.D., PHSC President; Marilyn Pearson-Adams, PHSC District Board of Trustees Chair; Channing Sampson, PHSC Student Speaker; and Jessica LaBossiere, Ph.D., PHSC Associate Professor, English, and Faculty Senate President. Approximately 185 degrees and certificates will be conferred at the virtual ceremony.

Graduation student speaker Channing Sampson, born to single mother Angela S., was raised in Tampa, FL. She is a sister to two older brothers and a single mother to four beautiful daughters. Growing up Channing watched her mother work three jobs for most of her childhood to make ends meet, but she never lacked. Angela made sure to instill in Channing the importance of education and stressed the importance of hard work. Channing graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School near Westshore in 2010. Immediately following she accepted the invitation to join Bethune-Cookman University. After one semester, Channing returned home. Although college was still a very real and important goal she began working in corporate America for the state of Florida. Channing attempted to continue her education at HCC, however she dropped out in the summer of 2012.

In 2015, Channing became the primary custodian of her three nieces. Becoming a single “foster” parent to three children was not ideal for a 22-year-old, but Channing was determined to not allow her nieces to go into foster care. School seemed to be a distant dream. Without knowing how she’d juggle her new life, Channing returned to school in the fall of 2016 and took two classes for the next two semesters. Her completion rate was unsatisfactory and she had to pay out of pocket, which put a financial strain on her family. So, Channing decided to take a break to regain financial stability. In March 2017, Channing adopted her four nieces and set out to continue to build a beautiful life for her new family. Knowing that a college education would enable her to become more financially stable, and with the encouragement and support from her family, Channing accepted a job at PHSC and transferred to continue her education at PHSC. She is earning her Associate in Arts degree with a 3.76 GPA. Channing plans to continue at PHSC to pursue her Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management with the hopes of impacting businesses around her community.