Twenty Piedmont Community College (PCC) Associate Degree Nursing graduates were celebrated at a memorable pinning ceremony on May 14 held at Roxboro Baptist Church.

The ceremony was a heartfelt moment of recognition for their dedication and success, shared with proud family members, friends, faculty and staff.

Addressing her fellow classmates, class representative Ruth Balatbat reflected on their time in nursing school and the hard work that went into getting them to this momentous day.

“Nursing is not just a profession, it is a calling,” Balatbat said. “A calling that demands resilience, strength and unwavering resolve. And while tears might offer temporary relief, we know that true growth lies in confronting our challenges head on with courage and determination.”

Balatbat spoke highly of PCC’s nursing instructors and expressed her gratitude for the important lessons each one of them taught the graduating class.  

“Today we stand as a testament to our relentless determination and passion for nursing,” Balatbat said. “Yet, as we celebrate our individual achievements, we must also acknowledge the immense support system that has been instrumental in our success. Not a single one of us here today has done it alone. We are each a patchwork quilt of those who have loved us, those who have believed in our futures and those who showed us empathy and kindness or told us the truth even when it wasn’t easy to hear.”

Darrick Woods, Director, Nursing Programs, acknowledged the hard work and dedication of the graduates.

“Throughout your time in this program you not only demonstrated your academic promise, but your unwavering commitment to the values of nursing: integrity, respect, advocacy and service,” Woods said. “You have embraced the complexities of healthcare with courage and determination, always striving to make a difference in the lives of your clients and their families.”

Woods presented the following graduates with Outstanding Student Awards along with scholarships:

  • Ruth Balatbat – Person Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Scholarship
  • Leilani Castillo – Nightingale Scholarship
  • Lauryn Hatchett – Person Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Scholarship

Hatchett was also presented with a cord to wear during commencement for being the president of the Student Nursing Association (SNA) along with a Red Cross cord for her help in recruiting blood donors during the SNA blood drive.

  • Carly Grinstead – Nightingale Scholarship

Grinstead was also presented with a class leadership cord.

  • Geoffrey Ojambo – Nightingale Scholarship
  • Leticia Velasquez – Nightingale Scholarship

Velasquez was also presented with class representative cord.

  • Hannah Mangum – Rowan Walters Scholarship

Mangum was also presented with an SNA leadership cord along with a Red Cross cord for her help in recruiting blood donors during the SNA blood drive.

  • Melaine James – Bradford Nursing Legacy Scholarship

James was the first nursing graduate to be awarded the Bradford Nursing Legacy Scholarship. The scholarship was created by LaTasha Bradford who graduated from the 2023 inaugural Caswell County Nursing class.

Each graduate was presented with a nursing pin, a symbol of their entry into the nursing profession. The pins were affixed to their white nursing uniforms by family members or faculty members in attendance. After receiving their pins they were presented with lamps, a symbol of the nursing heroine, Florence Nightingale. Once the lamps were lit the graduates recited the nursing pledge in unison led by nursing instructor Angel Rogers.

The Associate Degree Nursing graduates are as follows: Amanda Allen, Alexis Anderson, Ruth Balatbat, Artie Carver, Leilani Castillo, Allie Daniel, Courtney Florence, Lauren Foushee, Carly Grinstead, Aubree Gunter, Lauryn Hatchett, Melaine James, Hannah Mangum, Caitlin Medlin, Travis Mullins, Mary Myers, Geoffrey Ojambo, Tracy Strader, Leticia Velasquez and Kathleen Windham.

The graduates will now have the opportunity to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), which is the final step for them to become registered nurses.

PCC’s Associate Degree Nursing curriculum provides individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide nursing care to clients and groups of clients throughout the lifespan in a variety of settings. Visit for more information about PCC’s Associate Degree Nursing program.

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