Three Reasons To Celebrate

A Jamestown family has much to celebrate after a mother, daughter and son all completed degrees within days of each other.

Jenny (Irvine) Griffo, her daughter Deann E. Hofer and her son Richard T. Hofer recently completed degrees at separate institutions.

According to Jenny, the joyous occasion was celebrated by family and friends.

“I’m very proud of them because they both graduated with high honors in their classes,” said Jenny. “I’m glad that they are settled and moving on.”

“It was surreal,” added Richard. “We all got to celebrate together and have pictures taken together. It was a great feeling knowing that we were all able to accomplish something, and that it all came together at the same time.”

Jenny, who graduated from Jamestown High School in 1975, graduated May 18 from Daemen College with a master’s in nursing executive leadership. Jenny will be traveling as an interim director of nurses for 360 Healthcare Staffing. Jenny is daughter of Joseph and Concetta Griffo.

“My goal was to complete my master’s in nursing and to continue on to nonclinical nursing in more management and executive leadership roles,” said Jenny. “I’m looking toward traveling nurses, so I could go to facilities to help them start up or get stabilized.”

Deann earned a Doctorate in Podiatric Medicine May 16 from Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine. Dr. Joseph Griffo, grandfather to Deann, hooded Deann at her graduation.

Deann is currently working on completing a three-year residency at University Hospital Richmond Medical Center in Richmond Heights, Ohio. Upon completion of the residency, Deann will be able to celebrate officially becoming a podiatrist.

“Deann had a dream to be a doctor, and she went out and followed it,” said Richard J. Hofer, father of Deann and Richard T. “She faced many challenges, which she overcame, and she was able to attain her goal – I couldn’t be more proud of her.”

Richard J. works for Dunkirk Specialty Steel and graduated from Gannon University in 1979. According to Richard J., his wife, Pam, who is a manager at Lakewood’s TJ Maxx, has also played a role in his children’s lives.

Richard T., who graduated from Dunkirk High School in 2008, graduated from Buffalo State College with a Bachelors of Science in technology education May 18.

“I didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I started out by going to Jamestown Community College for engineering science, and I was able to get some scholarships through them,” said Richard T. “Then my brother-in-law told me about how you can go to school to become a technology education teacher, and I thought that was cool because I love hands-on stuff. I get to relay the passion I have for building and tinkering with electronics and wood. It feels awesome being a college graduate. It was a lot of years of hard work, but it finally paid off.”

Richard T. resides in Fredericksburg, Va., where he is director of program development for the franchise Engineering for Kids. He landed the job after relocating to Virginia because his girlfriend was offered a position, and he decided to make the move with her.

“Engineering for Kids is an afterschool enrichment program that offers engineering courses to students 4 years old to 14,” said Richard T. “I’ve started my career and my life- this is awesome.”

Jenny has two other children, Rachel Mistretta, a photographer who lives in Jamestown, and Tiffany Birt, who has a master’s in occupational therapy and lives in Georgia.

“I’m proud of all of my children,” said Jenny.