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Port Arthur, Mid-County students graduate from Lamar State with perfect 4.0 GPAs

Out of the 54 students who graduated from Lamar State College Port Arthur in December, five earned a perfect GPA of 4.0.

All five honor graduates have ties to Mid-County and Port Arthur.

A combination of hard work and dedication is leading these graduates to bright futures as they pursue careers in fields ranging from architecture and process operating to business.

Some have already applied to continue their academic career at other colleges, while others have begun their journey into the local workforce.

Griselda Espinosa, of Nederland; Ana Valencia, of Port Arthur; Darren Doan and Jared Dowling, both of Groves; and Anika Salinas of Port Arthur earned the honor.

Valencia, who studied drafting technology, is eager to see what her future holds. Pursuing her passion helped her stay focused.

“I was doing something I liked,” she said. “I’m actually applying to get into the (University of Houston) and the school of architecture.”

Doan, who studied process technology at LSCPA, said he was very persistent about going to class.

“I studied a lot and listened closely to the lectures,” Doan said. “Make sure you go to every class and try not to miss. If you miss, you can get left behind.”

Doan wants to land a job in the area as a process operator.

“I’m taking a test for Valero soon,” he said.

Salinas, who studied business administration, works at Lamar University in Beaumont and is enrolled in a master’s program at the college.

“I had to take prerequisites for my master’s degree,” she said. “I just decided to go ahead and graduate since I only needed a few classes to graduate.”

She hopes to earn her master’s degree within the next few years.

“I actually really enjoy accounting and stuff like that,” she said. “I actually work at Lamar as an administrative assistant.”

Salinas took online classes this past semester.

“College is life right now,” she said. “It takes a lot of dedication, to be honest. Working fulltime and going to school fulltime, you have to have discipline. I was really afraid at first, because it was new. I was used to being in class, but it was better because of COVID and stuff.”

Salinas is seeing if she can handle an accelerated plan this semester in an attempt to earn her degree before the summer of 2022, in which she is scheduled to finish. Attempts to reach Dowling and Espinosa were unsuccessful.

In total, 54 Lamar State College Port Arthur students graduated with academic honors at the end of their journeys at the community college.

The Fall 2020 commencement ceremony in December was held virtually, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Of those, 23 earned Summa Cum Laude honors, for completing their two-year Associate Degrees with grade-point averages of at least 3.80.

Fourteen LSCPA Fall 2020 grads earned Magna Cum Laude honors with GPAs that fell between 3.65 and 3.79, and 17 graduated Cum Laude with GPAs between 3.50 and 3.64.

Additionally, 19 students who completed work required for skills training certificates also were saluted as honor-worthy grads, with GPAs between 3.50 and 4.00.