With themes of resilience and success, more than 700 Renton Technical College graduates received degrees and certificates at the 2024 Commencement at the Showare Center June 21. More than 1,300 students graduated during the 2023-24 academic year. 

“Today marks a pivotal milestone,” Board of Trustees Chair Frieda Takamura told graduates. “You have faced challenges, embraced opportunities for growth, and shown an extraordinary commitment to your education.”

President Yoshiko Harden acknowledged global and national unrest that impacts the RTC community. 

“The world is heavy, and in moments of sorrow and hopelessness, I am reminded that students have changed the world through collective advocacy for social, political, and economic justice.”

Emmy-nominated poet Christian Page was the keynote speaker, offering students hope and Student Speaker Stacy Norfleet inspired her fellow graduates with her story of resilience. She came to RTC to finish her high school diploma after dropping out of high school when she had her baby. Now pursuing a career in education, she thanked her supportive teachers and the welcoming atmosphere at the college. 

Stacey speaking at the podium during commencement

“Just because you don’t see a path doesn’t mean you can’t create one,” she said. “Please, challenge yourself to do what you think may be impossible for you. Because with faith, courage,  strength, and conviction, you can pave the way not just for yourself but for generations to come.”