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Jory Keogh Valedictorian Class Of 2022

Jory Keogh Named Valedictorian

Fine Arts Major Jory Keogh Named Valedictorian Of Kingsborough Community College’s Class Of 2022

Jory Keogh Valedictorian Class Of 2022

Fine Arts Major Jory Keogh Named Valedictorian Of Kingsborough Community College’s Class Of 2022

When the invitation to his 10th high school reunion arrived, Jory Keogh reflected on why his first instinct was to decline to go. He realized his greatest regret was not pursuing a college degree. “I may have been happy, but there remained this longing, an urge to prove something to myself after having ended high school on such a sour note,” he recalled.

Instead of continuing to wallow in that sense of regret, he chose to enroll at Kingsborough Community College (KCC). While the application process, securing transcripts, and applying for G.I. benefits from his father’s military service were challenging, with help from KCC staff, he persevered. “As a first-generation college student and as an immigrant, I doubted myself constantly as more and more challenges arose,” he said. “But everywhere I turned at Kingsborough. I found people willing to work with me – helping me to take that first step towards earning my degree.”

His first two classes – drawing and film genres – and the A+ grades he earned helped set the tone for his college career. During that first semester, he’d also discovered a welcoming community,  from the ASAP office to MAVA (Military and Veteran Affairs office) to the art department, which helped him hone the painting skills he had developed on his own during the 10 years since graduating high school.

When the pandemic struck, and his in-person community disappeared, his first impulse was to pack it in, but the momentum from the first semester fueled his resolve. “Inside, there was an inherent craving to continue learning and prove to myself that this was no fluke: I chose to go back to school, and now that I’m here, I won’t back down so easily.”

He developed an online community, often exchanging long emails with professors and advisors – and he found his voice. Along the way, he also discovered a love for photography, which helped channel his creative instincts into award-winning pieces.

Jory graduated in August 2021 with an associate degree in fine arts, and a perfect grade point average of 4.0. He transferred to Hunter College, where he is majoring in studio art, concentrating on painting, and minoring in film.

On June 16, 2022, Jory will deliver the valedictorian speech, representing Kingsborough Community College’s class of 2022 at the 57th commencement ceremony.

“The artwork that lines my walls reflects the artist and the man I have become and serves as a reminder of my growth as I push myself forward at Hunter College,” he noted.” While I still work diligently to maintain my grades and build wonderful new relationships at Hunter, I find that it is the countless tools learned at Kingsborough that continue to serve me to this day.”

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