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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — More than 850 students will graduate from Cape Fear Community College tonight.

The afternoon was filled with plenty of sunshine and smiles as hundreds of students prepare to take the next step in their life.

“It feels good to finally be graduating and moving forward,” graduate Juan Guevara said.

Students say they have dedicated years of hard work to reach this moment.

“Through it all, I’ve had some good support here at Cape Fear, as far as my teachers and the counselors,” graduate Lawanda Bowen said. “Everybody was really nice and directed me in the right path.”

A path many say they could not have walked alone.

“My family is here. They are going to support me. It’s just as much for them as it is for me, because they’ve been very supportive in this journey,” Guevara said.

Parents say they cannot believe how quickly the journey was.

“I can’t believe he’s already finished high school and now his second year at Cape Fear,” mom Angela Gent said. “Time just really, really flies.”

Although graduates agree they are looking forward to the next step in their lives.

“It feels really good to finally be done and moving on to the next chapter of everything,” graduate Meagan Savidge said. “I still have nursing school but it’s just another chapter I’m looking forward to.”

Graduates said they will feel a sense of accomplishment as they walk across the stage and to know all their hard work paid off.

One dad says he will have a slightly different feeling.

“A great deal of relief,” Jack Macnamara said, “to see it done.”

It’s also commencement weekend at UNCW, where more than 2,000 students are graduating.

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