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Honolulu Community College offers quality instruction with its robust liberal arts program and their wide range of career and technical education programs, from automotive to music industry management.

About 5,000 students are currently enrolled and thousands of others have graduated with a two-year degree or certificate since the school opened in 1920.

A gala event, Celebrate! 2012!, was held to honor five graduates who credit Honolulu Community College for their professional success, like 2002 human services graduate Charles-Alan Castillo, a business manager for Aloha United Way.

“I was just really blessed to have really good instructors who were committed and caring individuals that really made a difference in how I approached my studies and how I graduate,” said Castillo.

Fellow honoree Jason Oshiro agrees. He is a 1994 commercial arts graduate and now works as a graphic designer for the college.

“The people, the teachers, the faculty, the staff are all hardworking people and they love what they do,” said Oshiro.

1972 graduate Jerome Albritton had a long career in law enforcement.

“I had a chance to launch my career when I saw they had police science courses available at the school,” said Albritton. “I am immediately enrolled once I transferred here from the military.”

It was more than just the education for fellow honoree Gary MacDonald, a 1970 graduate in automotive mechanics.

“After I did very well at HCC, I had academic confidence,” said MacDonald. “I had dreams when I was younger of maybe become a mechanical engineer.”

MacDonald realized those dreams and had a long and distinguished career at Boeing Aircraft.

The fifth graduate to be honored, 1998 graduate Jonathan Wong, who received an associate degree in liberal arts, summed up how all of the honorees felt about the unexpected recognition.

“Very few people are fortunate to be recognized in that type of role so it is definitely very humbling,” said Wong.

Honolulu Community College also honored First Hawaiian Bank for being the college’s outstanding partner. First Hawaiian has given $125,000 over the last nine years to establish and support the college’s automotive academy.

“Our founder, Charles Reed Bishop, had a deep sense of obligation and commitment to education,” said First Hawaiian Bank Vice Chairman Robert Fujioka.

The event, that included silent auction and entertainment, was not only about the past and present, but the future as well. The money raised is being used for the college’s general scholarship endowment fund to support students who may also be honored graduates one day.

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