Broward College Celebrates Student Achievement with Fall 2018 Commencement

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (Dec. 17, 2018) – Broward College hosted its 89th commencement ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 13 at the BB&T Center. More than 1,200 of the qualified candidates participated in the event. For the fall graduation, 4,000 degrees and certifications were awarded including more than 300 bachelor's degrees in some of the region's fastest growing industries—information technology, education, nursing and supply chain management.

Dr. Wael Barsoum, CEO and, president of Cleveland Clinic Florida, delivered the ceremony's keynote address to an audience of faculty, graduates and their loved ones.

Among those notable graduates who received degrees are:

Kari Castenada graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management. And only hours prior, she also surprised her father with the news, making the dream he's always had for his daughter finally come true. The 29-year-old started her higher education journey in 2007. And after earning her associate degree from Broward College, she found a job and planned to move up the ranks of her company rather than continue her education. While her parents supported her decision, her dad knew she had greater potential. He had graduated college with an associate degree and his dream was for his daughter to achieve more than he did. After returning to the College for her bachelor's, Kari decided to keep it a secret, as he had been disappointed each time she would enroll and then stop. After several months of intense studying, three days before her 30th birthday, Kari finally completed the academic milestone her father has always hoped for.

Jose Perez is a single father of two girls who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. He is the owner of Flaco's Community Gym in Broward, where he partners with Fort Lauderdale Independence Training and Education (F.L.I.T.E) to sponsor older foster kids phasing out of foster care, offering them a physical outlet for their emotions and stress. He also hosts two large charity events each year, both named after his daughters: Thais' Bookbag Giveaway, a back to school event where he donates 200 book bags filled with school supplies, and Breezy's Butterball Bash, where he gives away 100 frozen turkeys to low-income families.

Ros Serrano graduated with an Associate of Science in Graphic Design, bringing him one step closer to achieving his dream of becoming an architect. While growing up on a small farm in Mexico, Ros was forced to flee his home due to domestic violence, forcing him to finish high school without a steady income, household or support system. Ros also endured the traumatic experience of being robbed at gunpoint and lost all the money he had to his name. He continued to receive death threats until deciding to flee to the United States. Seeking a pathway to his dream, Ros found a home at the College, where he is now part of a community of students as diverse as himself.


Serving approximately 56,000 students annually, Broward College provides residents with certificate programs, two-year university-transfer degrees, two-year career degrees, and baccalaureate degrees in selected programs. The mission of the College is to provide high-quality educational programs and services that are affordable and accessible to a diverse community of learners. For more information, visit