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Mother of four will serve as PCC commencement speaker

Posted at 7:23 AM, May 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-23 11:03:40-04

Nicole Werner is a mother of four and will serve as the commencement speaker for Pima Community College on Thursday.

She applied to give the speech so she could get out of her comfort zone. Like millions of other Americans, she's dealt with depression and anxiety.

"My main message is going to be how we can come together and use the power of diversity, especially with what we have here in Tucson, and really change the face of power as we know it," Werner said.

Werner started school at PCC in 2015 and has gone through many ups and downs. While attending classes her ex-husband was in a terrible crash, her mother and grandparents passed away and at one point she was working three jobs to support her family.

Through it all Werner has focused on the positives with her kids who are 18, 16, 12 and 10. She also got re-married and her oldest daughter is now a PCC student.

"Being students together has formed a really unique bond between us," Werner said. "There have been times where we get to study together and sometimes I think that's cooler than it really is, and they're really annoyed with me. But I think it's been a really good experience."

In the fall Werner will attend the University of Arizona to study psychology. She is open about her mental health because she wants to erase the stigma that sometimes surrounds those issues.

"So many people I talk to are suffering and they are afraid to seek help," Werner said. "And I say you're your own best advocate."

As for the future? While Werner says it sounds cliche she really wants to help people, but isn't sure in what capacity. It may be inthe lab or "in the trenches" helping the community, she said.

The PCC graduation ceremony begins at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 23rd. It will be held at the Tucson Convention Center.

According to the school, around 3,800 PCC students have graduated or are eligible for graduation at this ceremony.