Crossing the academic finish line

By Marketing & Communications

Our Winter 2020 grads crossed the stage last week to receive their credentials.  One small group made a lasting mark with their peers and instructors during their time at Douglas. They are the valedictorians. Read below to see what they say about the challenges they faced, the wisdom they acquired, their growth as individuals, and their pride and excitement at successfully completing their program.


Anessa dela Cruz

“There was an instructor who gave us a sage advice: Go to a place where you will be constantly challenged and mentally stimulated, as it will be the place that will test you to step outside your comfort zone. Go where you can grow. Education is not confined within these walls – it goes far beyond classrooms and lecture halls.” – Anessa dela Cruz, Bachelor of Business Administration – Major in Accounting

Bharti Kapur

“I consider myself lucky to be part of a cohort that was like a close-knit community. Our class consisted of several great individuals from diverse backgrounds and walks of life. We grew together, laughed together and often cried together. I formed some great friendships that I will cherish for the rest of my life.” – Bharti Kapur, Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing

Read more: Grief helped on Psychiatric Nursing grad find his true calling

Danielle Gostkowska

“These are the takeaways from my time at Douglas:

  • Inject some play and creativity into your life – whether it’s at work or outside of it. It allows for new ways of thinking, expression and an increased connection to others because we are showing another authentic side to ourselves.
  • If there’s something you don’t agree with, and can see a need for improvement, speak up. We are told to be advocates, so someone might just listen.
  • Finally, whatever you’re passionate about, pursue it in your career – because if you’re passionate about what you’re doing, you’ll see the most success for yourself.” – Danielle Gostkowska, Bachelor in Child and Youth Care

Read more: How one Child and Youth Care alum is changing the face of education

Gabriel Trinidad

“When I first started at Douglas, I was completely unmotivated and apathetic. Frankly, I was just waiting for school to be over. However, I soon learned that Douglas College is more than just a school, it is a family. I made friends, got involved with school club activities and volunteered for the school’s athletic teams. This institution made me feel like I belonged and gave me the hunger for self-improvement necessary to excel in my studies and my career.” – Gabriel Trinidad, Bachelor of Physical Education and Coaching

Miamin Alcantara Pederoso

“I have this insatiable appetite for knowledge and discovery. When people ask me how I managed to attend all my classes, participate in school events, volunteer as a Student Ambassador and work as a Campus Tour Leader, I only have one answer – when you put your heart into it, you’ll have the energy to do it.” – Miamin Alcantara Pederoso, Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in International Supply Chain Management

Read more: Music grad fine-tunes his passion into a profession

Guilherme Lima Facanha

“When I decided to move from Brazil to Canada, I knew that I would face many changes. There would be no more family dinners and my time playing outdoor tennis would become very limited. Even knowing that a lot would be left behind, I decided to come to Canada. And I don’t regret it.” – Guilherme Lima Facanha, Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Computer and Information Systems

Preeyanuch Chaoviriapong

“Douglas provides us a great chance to get to make new friends from several different countries. We learned about cultural differences and even how to greet others in their languages. We went out together and we relaxed together. As an international student who travelled far from my home country, this warm atmosphere helped me adjust to living in Canada.” – Preeyanuch Chaoviriapong, Diploma in Commerce and Business Administration

Daniela Isabel Becerril Rodriguez

“Embrace failure. Soon, most of us will be looking to enter the workforce full time and we are probably going to face rejection or even failure during job interviews. But don’t get discouraged if you’re turned down a couple of times or if things don’t go your way. Most of the time, we forget that failure is part of life and that success usually comes as a result of past failures.” – Daniela Isabel Becerril Rodriguez, Post-Degree Diploma in Marketing

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