Dr. Luli Akinfiresoye, a pharmacologist who works with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s Office of Diversion, shared her inspirational story with graduates of the Delaware County Community College Thursday morning at the school’s commencement in The Pavilion at Villanova University.
“Though there were obstacles and challenges along my journey, I did not become distracted because I understood that the road to success is paved with hard work,” said Akinfiresoye, who’s also an assistant professor of Chemistry and Pharmacology at Northern Virginia Community College.
“There were times when I got tired of trying so hard to knock down the door of success, but my will to be better than I was yesterday kept me going,”
Dr. Akinfiresoye was selected to be the College’s 2016 Alumni Professional Achievement Award winner. A native of Nigeria, she came to America with her family, became a U.S. citizen, and in 2003 enrolled at the college, where she earned an Associate’s Degree.
She also has a Bachelor’s Degree from Temple, a Master’s in Clinical Chemistry from the University of Scranton, and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Howard University.
“Rest assured that your accomplishments, hopes, and above all, your courage to have succeeded in this phase of your life is quite remarkable,” Akinfiresoye told the graduates. “I stand before you as someone who recognizes what hard work, tenacity, and the audacity to hope can bring.”
More than 1,700 degrees and certificates were conferred to students Thursday. The following are some of the graduates in the Class of 2016:
- Sameena Elkhashab, Broomall: She is one of two students recognized earlier this year by the international Phi Theta Kappa honor society and the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges as All-Pennsylvania scholars. The All-PA distinction carries with it a full-tuition scholarship for up to two years at one of the 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
- Dayna Garrison, Upper Darby: She is a straight-A student who works part-time as a Biology and Chemistry peer tutor. Because of her leadership skills and outstanding academic performance, Garrison was recently nominated to participate in the (ISLP) International Scholar Laureate Program’s Delegation on Nursing and Healthcare.
- Khayyir Laws, Chester: Despite having lost his house in a fire and having become a father at a young age, Laws graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science.
- Harbir and Rajbinder Randhawa, Millbourne: The sisters are following in each other’s footsteps. Both received an Associate’s Degree in Nursing, and are peer mentors and new student orientation leaders at the college.