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Greenfield Community College Student Honored Among ‘29 Who Shine’

GREENFIELD — Greenfield Community College student Guinevere Arthur Vanhorne is one of “29 Who Shine,” a group of outstanding Massachusetts public college and university graduates honored by the Department of Higher Education at a Massachusetts State House ceremony on May 14.

Every year, one graduate from each of the 29 Massachusetts public campuses is recognized for their academic achievements and record of student leadership and community service. Vanhorne, 29, of Rowe, will graduate from GCC in June with an associate’s degree in liberal arts. Nominated for the award by GCC President Bob Pura, she will transfer to Smith College to study toward a bachelor’s degree in biology and then continue on toward a master’s degree. She plans a career as a physician assistant, hopefully in a rural area of Massachusetts.

Vanhorne grew up in Jamaica and never imagined she’d be able to go to college. She has worked as a certified nursing assistant in Western Mass. nursing homes since taking the CNA certification course at GCC in 2010. Her work supervisors encouraged her to pursue her dream of college and enroll at GCC. While working and raising her two young daughters, she has excelled as a student at GCC, serving as president of GCC’s chapter of the national academic honor society Phi Theta Kappa. She has also taken an active role with community-service projects, including creating a fund-raiser to help a local family get a wheelchair-accessible van they need, volunteering in a soup kitchen, raising money to purchase personal items and toiletries for the GCC Food Pantry, and working on a toy drive. At GCC, she also serves as an orientation leader and a peer tutor assisting other students.

“Guinevere Arthur Vanhorne has a bright light that shines from within,” Pura said. “She makes all here at GCC shine brighter. Her journey represents the courage, intelligence, and heart found throughout the classrooms, offices, and studios of our college. Gwen is a strong, smart, and compassionate woman who will create a brighter future for herself, her family, and her community. We are all so proud of her.”

Vanhorne said the college embraced her from the start. “I feel like I really belong there, like I was going home. I got really exceptional grades, but the community of people made it happen,” she noted. “In 2010, I was a CNA not knowing my future. I honed in on something that felt like a distant dream and now I’m making it a reality.”

For information about “29 Who Shine,” visit www.mass.edu/29whoshine/home.asp.

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