Berkshire Community College (BCC) is pleased to announce that Caitlyn Bessette has been selected as the 2012 valedictorian and will provide remarks at the commencement ceremony to be held Friday, June 1st at Tanglewood in Lenox.
Bessette, 19, is a lifelong resident of Berkshire County and currently resides in Richmond. A liberal arts major at BCC, Bessette will be attending Western New England University in Springfield in the Fall, and plans to major in liberal arts with minors in criminal justice and psychology. After beginning her academic pursuits at another college, Bessette came to BCC because it was an affordable option and would allow her to explore her interests.
"I've really loved being at BCC; I wish I didn't have to leave. My teachers have been great and I love the small class size - it feels like a community here." said Bessette. "This college has helped me to network with area professionals. I had the opportunity to intern with Marc Vincelette, a criminal defense attorney in Pittsfield. From that experience, I realized that I wanted to be a prosecutor in the district attorney's office.
One of five children, Bessette admits that she was not always academically focused.
"I didn't like [high school] freshman and sophomore year. But, my mom pushed me a little more and, in my junior year, I started to get good grades," Besette confessed. "I was never really regarded as ‘one of the smart kids. ' When I came to BCC, being selected as the valedictorian became a goal and I worked hard to achieve it."
Bessette was selected by a committee comprised of faculty and administrators for her impressive academic abilities, including a 4.00 grade point average. Bessette currently works at Shaker Mill Tavern in West Stockbridge as a waitress and spends much of her free time with her eleven-year-old sister, Jenna.
"Caitlyn is a strong, determined young woman. She's taken on the responsibilities of an adult both in her family and in her community," said Dr. Frances Feinerman, BCC's Vice President for Academic Affairs and chair of the selection committee. "She's faced challenges that would have deterred most of us; but she gives no excuses and moves forward. She's been a model and a mentor for other students as well."
The 2012 Commencement exercises will begin at 4:30 PM on June 1st.