Bluewater Bible College graduates 2 students

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ST. THOMAS - When the two graduates from Bluewater Bible College promenaded to "Pomp and Circumstance" Monday night at Calvary Baptist Church, more than 60 friends and family members beamed with pride.

Keneesha Saunders and Michellea Simmonds each graduated with a bachelor of religious education degree with an emphasis in elementary education from this faith-based school with a Christian worldview.

"Michellea and Keneesha have both done an excellent job completing their BA degree," said college president Richard Davis. "We are going to dearly miss their beautiful smiles and sparkling personalities at the college."

The four-year course of study was more difficult than most. The degree required earning 132 to 136 credits rather than the 120 or 125 required at many other colleges.

"Discipline and time management was the biggest challenge," said Simmonds.

She also offered encouragement to upcoming graduates.

"It's going to get tough, but God brought you here for a reason and in the end of it all, He will reveal what that is," she said.

Simmonds hopes to be hired as a teacher and later plans to own her own business.

"For teaching, my education taught me how I can use God's word to teach children," she said. "What I learned here I can impart to them as they grow. Later in life, it will stay with me, and I can impart it to those I encounter on a daily basis,"

For Saunders, Bluewater Bible College is a family tradition - her parents met while studying there.

Her father, Pastor Keithley Saunders, was the commencement speaker for the evening.

"I'm grateful for both family and friends," said Keneesha Saunders. "Without their support, I would not be where I am today. God has brought me through everything and has provided for me every step of the way. I can never repay Him for what He has given me. The best thing I could do is just offer myself back to Him."

Saunders plans to pursue her masters degree, but her main goal is to be a teacher and have an impact on children for Christ.

The two graduates sang "Lead Me Lord I Will Follow" from the podium during the ceremony.

Simmonds' mother, Patricia Simmonds, expressed her extreme pride in both graduates.

"Coming from a single-parent home, Michellea has done well, and I'm really, really proud of her," she said.

Althea Saunders, Keneesha Saunders' mother, encouraged the girls to reach for the sky.

"God has brought them thus far by faith," she said. "Keep on keeping on for the Lord."

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