This year is uniquely special for North Carolina’s community colleges. Many of the 58 institutions held their first in-person commencement ceremonies since the start of the pandemic, and some had their largest graduating classes cross the stage this year. It's also a special year for the 2022 graduates. Many started their college journey in the middle of a pandemic, while others chose to return and complete their education after having been out of school for years. Their stories demonstrate resilience, determination, and hope for the future.