From Lakehawk to Leader: Kendal Gustafson’s Message of Inspiration at LSSC’s Leesburg Commencement

Lake-Sumter State College takes pride in fostering students who not only excel academically but also demonstrate a commitment to personal growth and community involvement. Kendal Gustafson, hailing from Eustis, embodies the spirit of a driven and creative individual, poised to make a significant impact in the world.

Kendal’s educational journey began at Hampden DuBose Academy, setting the stage for a bright future. After graduating from LSSC, Kendal’s goals are to continue her studies at UCF, aspiring to become a graphic designer or art director. What fuels these aspirations is the desire for a life that challenges and expands both her knowledge and creative abilities every day.

Beyond academics, Kendal actively contributes to the community as a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society at LSSC. Kendal’s diverse interests encompass digital and physical art, indulging in fiction reads like Lord of the Rings and Hunger Games, along with providing care for beloved pets as a pet sitter. Not to forget, the practice of martial arts, specifically jiu-jitsu, adds passion to Kendal’s pursuits.

Reflecting on impactful experiences at LSSC, Kendal credits Professor Toni Upchurch for making a significant difference during her academic journey. Additionally, the unwavering support from Mr. Star, especially in navigating math courses, stands out as an essential part of the LSSC experience.

Among Kendal’s memories of LSSC is an experience at the math emporium, where guidance and patience from Mr. Star helped her conquer challenging material, highlighting the supportive environment LSSC fosters. This resonates with Kendal’s advice to new Lakehawks: embrace support and guidance without hesitation, for it is readily available and incredibly valuable.

Kendal’s initial reluctance to seek help from tutors at the math emporium gave way to a pleasant revelation. The supportive environment and the willingness of tutors to patiently guide through explanations and processes turned out to be a stark contrast to initial apprehensions, reinforcing the idea that seeking help leads to success.

Kendal Gustafson’s journey at Lake-Sumter State College is a testament to the college’s commitment to fostering growth in its students. As Kendal sets sights on a bright future beyond LSSC, the lessons learned, the support received, and the dedication to personal and academic growth remain integral parts of this remarkable journey.

Kendal’s story is a reflection of the vibrant community and supportive system at Lake-Sumter State College, where dreams take flight and aspirations turn into reality. As Kendal takes the stage as the Leesburg commencement speaker, her journey becomes an inspiration for future Lakehawks, emphasizing the power of education, community involvement, and the courage to seek guidance and support along the way.

Join us in celebrating the achievements of Kendal Gustafson and her fellow graduating class at the 68th Commencement Ceremony. The event will take place in Leesburg at the Everett A. Kelly Convocation Center on Friday, December 8, at 5:00 pm. For those unable to attend in person, the ceremony will be live streamed at, ensuring that everyone can be part of this special occasion.