The Hamilton Holt School at Rollins College held commencement on May 7th to celebrate the achievements of 204 graduates, including Marybelle Doe, who was selected as the Outstanding Graduating Senior. Doe delivered the commencement address to the Class of 2022, telling them, “No matter where you are in life or what your socioeconomic status is, just know that it’s never too late to pursue your dreams.”
As a first-generation, Hispanic, college student, Doe majored in Elementary Education, earning Summa Cum Laude honors. She was also a member of the inaugural class of the Pathways to Teaching program, a unique partnership between Rollins College and Orange County Public Schools that creates a pipeline of licensed teachers. Doe, formerly a paraprofessional, is now a full-time Varying Exceptionalities instructor at Cypress Creek High School in Orlando.
Doe, a resident of Orlando who was once homeless, said she attributes her success to the family she found at Rollins, from her classmates to her professors, who encouraged her to be a part of the solution to enact change in our community through education. She also has two children, both attending Rollins College, with her daughter Topanga Sena graduating last weekend from the Rollins College of Liberal Arts.
Watch and read her full commencement speech here.