Katherine Louise Guevara has lived in the United States for just three years. In that time, she has adjusted to a new culture and earned a college degree.
“My goal is always to set a good example for my sisters and to take every opportunity and run with it,” she said.
Katherine is one of Tidewater Community College’s May graduates, earning an Associate of Science in Business Administration. She was also honored with TCC’s Community Engagement Award for community service and academic excellence.
Katherine grew up in the Philippines and emigrated to the United States with her mom and two sisters in June 2019.
She came to TCC at the urging of her family and found a place to thrive.
“We faced many challenges with the pandemic, but we made it. I hope my classmates remember that commencement is not the end. It’s the beginning of the next steps on our journey,” Katherine said.
Katherine got involved in college life as president of the Intercultural Club, a group that works to build a community among international students. “I made so many friends right away at TCC,” she said. “And learning about other cultures, and sharing our stories was one of my favorite things.”
Katherine was also a member of the Student Government Association and volunteered at TCC events and for campus service projects.
“I used my chance at TCC to build myself up, to join clubs and meet people,” Katherine said. “I feel like I’m a different person now as I’m more outgoing and interested in experiencing everything.”
Katherine holds a 3.8 GPA and is also a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the honor society for two-year schools.
She credits her professors with creating a dynamic learning environment and investing in her success. She sends a shout-out to Leah Flax, Thomas Geary, Ferdinand Hallare, Angela Slaughter, Rebecca Summers and Nancy Whitfield. In addition, she recognizes staffers Alicia Peoples for helping with the Intercultural Club and Emily Hartman for nominating her for the Community Engagement Award and Student Speaker.
While at TCC, Katherine worked for the Sheraton hotel in Virginia Beach and solidified her plans to work in hospitality management. She is transferring to Old Dominion University where she will study Tourism Management.
Katherine is proud to say that TCC is a family thing now. Her sister, Roshan, 18, is a TCC STEM Promise Scholar. She will pay nothing for tuition and fees when she starts at TCC in the fall. And her youngest sister, Jasmine, 17, will be taking classes in the Advanced Technology Center while still in high school. Lastly, Katherine’s stepdad, Robert Bent, will be teaching Electrical Technology at the college’s Chesapeake Campus in the fall.
In her free time, Katherine enjoys making TikTok dance videos, listening to music and spending time with family.
“All of this is really unbelievable. I’m in a new country and making progress on so many goals,” Katherine said. “College was hard sometimes, but I was fully supported as a student. What could be better than that?”