For MHCC’s Romeo, Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow
American Idol Singer to Perform at MHCC Commencement Celebrations
Posted June 7, 2012
On June 15 and 16, Romeo Diahn will sing “America the Beautiful” in front of the biggest live audiences he’s ever had.
“It means the world to me to be able to sing in front of my college. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” says Diahn, who will be one of about 600 students to walk across the stage to receive a diploma or certificate at Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC). MHCC will hold graduation ceremonies June 15 for Adult High School Diploma (AHSD) and General Education Development (GED). Commencement for other students will be held June 16.
Born in Liberia, Diahn’s family fled to Ghana after a civil war broke out in his home country in 1989. Singing became a way for him to cope with life in a refugee camp.
After reaching the U.S., he knew he wanted to pursue a college education. A high school field trip made this choice simple: “Once I came to MHCC I did not want to leave. There’s a lot of help, a lot of good people, a lot of caring people. It was the college for me.”
At MHCC, Diahn focused his studies in music, singing and experimenting with the recording equipment available to students. He has also been heavily involved in student activities on campus, working as a Senator in student government in the 2009-10 academic year.
On June 16, Diahn will be awarded his Associate of General Studies degree, but his formal education will not stop there. After some time at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Portland, he hopes to return to MHCC and receive training to work in the restaurant industry.
He also plans to continue singing and writing music. This past winter he was a contestant on American Idol, the widely popular reality television singing competition. Due to his genuine love of music, Diahn advanced all the way to Hollywood, but was cut from the show soon after. “It was the greatest experience of my life,” he says, “the most heartbreaking experience. It was the happiest I have ever been.”
The 23-year-old credits much of his success in education, and in life, to MHCC. “I have learned everything here. My profession came from here,” he says. “The courage to just be happy came from here. When I sing ‘America the Beautiful,’ I am reminded of my time at MHCC.”
By Teresa Lane