In full transparency, the following is a press release from MassBay Community College submitted to SOURCE media.
WELLESLEY – MassBay Community College is pleased to announce that Ashley Osmecki of Hudson, Mehar Singh of Wayland, and Dinora Torres of Milford, will deliver the student Commencement address to their fellow classmates and guests at the College’s 59th Commencement ceremony.
Due to the continuing coronavirus restrictions, this year’s Commencement ceremony will be held virtually, tonight Thursday, May 27, 2021 at 6 p.m.
“Students everywhere are missing out on so many traditional rites of passage due to the pandemic,” said MassBay Professor and Chair of the Communication Studies, Dr. Debbie London. “However, in a pleasing twist for this year’s Commencement, we are fortunate to have three student speakers instead of the traditional one speaker. Dinora, Mehar, and Ashley each delivered a heartfelt and captivating speech for their speaker audition, causing the selection committee to reach an impasse in choosing a single speaker. The three women didn’t know each other during their time at MassBay, but it is clear that they collectively demonstrate how resilient and tenacious MassBay students are in so many ways. It was an absolute pleasure working with all three!”
Ashley Osmecki joined the workforce after high school, unsure if college was for her. Working full-time, she considered her next career move. Osmecki decided to try college, taking a few classes at other colleges, but eventually decided to focus her studies solely at MassBay as a part-time student, while continuing to work full-time in the restaurant industry. She was a dedicated and high-achieving student, leading to her induction into the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society in 2018. In May 2018, she was awarded first place in MassBay’s “Everybody Has a Story” contest, which called for students to write a reflection piece on their life and read it aloud to the MassBay community. Osmecki will graduate with her associate degree in liberal arts communication from MassBay and will continue her education at Emerson College in Boston, to pursue her bachelor’s degree in public relations.
“I am truly honored to be selected to deliver the student Commencement address,” said Osmecki. “I feel I have a responsibility to share my story to make sure that anyone who might have these same feelings of doubt, understands they’re not alone in that feeling. I am really excited to leave MassBay on this positive note.”
Mehar Kaur Singh came to MassBay after struggling in high school as a trauma survivor; suffering from chronic depression. Mehar was determined to overcome personal and academic challenges and heal from her invisible scars when she enrolled at MassBay as a full-time student. Mehar credits her involvement in on-campus, non-academic activities with helping her to become a more focused and serious student. She served as the president of the Indian Club, the vice president of public relations for the Student Government Association, and as the student representative of the Safe and Supportive Committee. In spring 2020, Mehar was presented with the MassBay Impact Award for her commitment to academic success and her exemplary leadership qualities within student organizations that positively impacted campus life for her peers and colleagues. Mehar earned her associate degree in liberal arts: psychology and sociology and plans to continue her education in the fall at a four-year university to pursue her bachelor’s degree and a career in forensic psychiatry.
“I overcame many personal challenges to get to this point and I’m certainly still struggling, but that’s the beauty of sharing the process,” said Singh. “Every single person deals with an array of issues at every given moment, but you cannot let the fight to obtain your goal undermine the achievement. That’s what I wanted to encapsulate in my speech because I know there are many students like me who have strengths that deviate from the academic norms, and I fought tirelessly to carry on through the system.”
Dinora Torres is a first-generation college student and a single mother to four daughters. Torres had put her college aspirations on hold to care for her eldest child who was born with multiple challenges. After seeing how driven her daughter was to prove to doctors that the impossible would be, indeed, possible, she was motivated to go to college and reach her own “impossible” goal. Exceptionally involved in many campus activities, Torres participated in the Leadership Engagement and Development (LEAD) program in fall 2020, served as the vice president of finances for the Student Government Association, was a member of the Students of Color group and a student representative on the MassBay Foundation Board, and was presented with the MassBay McKenzie Leadership Award. She was a full-time accounting student, who recently started her own bookkeeping business from home and continues to volunteers her time with the MassBay Rotaract Club. Torres will earn her associate degree in accounting from MassBay and will continue her education through the Commonwealth’s MassTransfer program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst to pursue her bachelor’s degree in accounting.
“I live by the saying, ‘the power of self, rules’,” said Torres. “Believing in yourself, is sometimes the biggest hurdle we face, but we are fully equipped with all the essential skills to overcome that. I have learned from my peers, Ashley and Mehar, that the one thing we have in common is we all believed we could earn our degrees, no matter the circumstances. We believed in a dream, we believed in a solution, we believed we are capable, and we did it. Congratulations to all the MassBay graduates.”