Penn Kleen employees Josue Aviles, front, and Curt Hoffheins pressure spray sidewalks around the graduation tent Tuesday at York College. A crew from the
Penn Kleen employees Josue Aviles, front, and Curt Hoffheins pressure spray sidewalks around the graduation tent Tuesday at York College. A crew from the West York company cleaned sidewalks and brick pathways for commencement, which will take place Saturday morning. (Bill Kalina photo)

For years, Nancy Hart looked at the white tent, wondering when she would sit under it as a graduating student of York College.

After seven years at the college, Hart, who is in her 40s, will graduate from the college with a bachelor of science degree in therapeutic recreation.

"It still doesn't feel real yet," Hart said. "It's such a joyful experience, just a feeling of accomplishment."

The graduation ceremony is at 10:15 a.m. Saturday at the college at 441 Country Club Road in Spring Garden Township.

Complication: Getting to the white tent wasn't easy for Hart, who overcame being severely burned in an accident at home on Thanksgiving weekend in November.

Copenheaver
Copenheaver

She spent a week in intensive care of Lehigh Valley Burn Center and had weeks in recovery at home. However, she was able to return to school and complete her internship at the York County Nursing Home.

Hart, a personal trainer at Strictly Fitness in Springettsbury Township, said she was encouraged in her comeback efforts by college school faculty, nursing home officials and her 17-year-old son, Morgan Hart, a York Catholic junior.

"My son watched me go through this process," Hart said. "There was no way I was going to let him see me give up."

Hart said that after graduation, she plans to get certification to become a therapeutic recreation specialist, with plans to work with adults with disabilities.

International dreams: About 700 students are expected to graduate from York College on Saturday, including Hannah Copenheaver, 21, of North Codorus Township.

Copenheaver said she is graduating with magna cum laude honors with a bachelor of arts degree in international relations.

She said she will pursue a master of arts degree in ethics, peace and global affairs at American University's School of International Affairs in Washington, D.C.

Copenheaver, president of York College's German Club, also will work as an international trade specialist with World Trade Center Harrisburg.

"I really will miss York College and the great experiences there," she said. "The German Club was my baby."

Copenheaver said her dream job is to work at the United Nations. She also has a goal of working for a nonprofit organization that helps children around the world through humanitarian aid and educational programs.

"York has always been my home for such a long time," she said. "Now my life will expand beyond York County. I love to travel, explore new places and meet new people in different cultures."

-- Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at emcmillan@yorkdispatch.com.