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From the Very First Charter College Class: Our Commencement Speaker

Published: June 28, 2018 | Updated: January 13, 2019

Ramona Duby was a part of the very first graduating class of Charter College back in 1986. She’s found many successes along her life’s journey and is honored and excited to be speaking at the July 6th commencement ceremony in Anchorage.

“It’s really an honor for me to be able to come back to Charter College after all these years and speak to a graduating class,” said Miss Mona. “So much has changed since I went to school there.”

Mona went to Charter College to learn about computers so she could find a good job. She said that “computers were really just starting up back then. This was before mice and point and click and cellphones were like bricks.  I didn’t have any computer skills but they taught me,” said Mona. “There were only a few of us, less than 20, and it was small class sizes and lots of individual attention. It really was a great way to learn.”

Although Mona thought about attending a more traditional college, she said she was more interested in learning what she needed to get to work, quickly and without a lot of courses that she just wasn’t interested in.

“At a regular four year university you might have to take astronomy,” said Mona. “I wasn’t interested in taking a bunch of classes just to fill out a degree. I wanted to work. Charter College gave me what I needed to compete in the marketplace. They also gave me a solid foundation so I’ve always been comfortable about keeping up with new technology as it comes out.”

On that solid foundation, Mona built a career. She began her professional life working as a receptionist, then a secretary, then an executive assistant. Over the years, she’s been a property manager, worked on the pipeline as what she calls a “Jill-of-all-trades,” owned her own business, and served on many boards, such as the Anchorage Community Mental Health Services, Inc. and Genesis House.

But if you think she’s thinking about settling down, you’d be wrong. She said she’s getting ready to sit on yet another board, the Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness. She also trained to be a foster parent to kids with special needs, whether physical or emotional.

And when she speaks to the graduating class in July, Mona may use her own career trajectory as an example of the successes students might find. But she says she mostly wants to ask them to “dream big dreams.” “They should have dreams, make a plan, set goals and take action,” said Mona.

What are your dreams? At Charter College, we still try to keep our classes small and provide individualized attention so you can acquire the skills you need to get to work. We have programs in Business, Healthcare, Information Technology, and some Trades. If you’d like to learn more, fill out the form. And if you happen to hear Mona speak at graduation, we’d love to hear what you think!