For some people, the journey through college is smooth and full of fun memories, but for Dolores Blanco, it has been a rewarding, yet trying time.
Blanco, 35, graduated from Troy University at Phenix City on Saturday along with 188 other graduates. There were 256 people who received degrees altogether. The event was held at the Columbus Civic Center and more than 500 people attended the ceremony.
Blanco, who was born in Mexico and raised in Bakersfield, Calif., graduated with a bachelor of science in business administration, with her concentration in accounting. Not only was Blanco taking classes at Troy, she was working full-time and raising three children.
Although she is married, Blanco is a military wife, and the Army is what brought her and her family to Columbus.
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"It was a challenge, because my husband was deployed when things were really bad in Iraq and a lot of people were getting killed," Blanco said. "It was a tough time for me dealing with that, but I made it."
Blanco works for Aflac and hopes to move forward and get her master's degree. She said she attributes her success to her husband and three children, who were all in attendance at the ceremony.
Alabama state Sen. Ted Little, D-Auburn, the keynote speaker, shared an appreciation to the families of the graduates and gave grads advice for their future during his commencement speech.
"There's going to be times you will not be able to respond to questions asked to you," Little said. "But you are educated and you have that going for you. Do not let them see you sweat."
Little gave out some words of wisdom to the new grads, but emphasized etiquette and manners.