State Representative Rita Mendes, 11th-Plymouth District
Massachusetts State Representative Rita Mendes, Massasoit Community College Class of 2006, will deliver the keynote address at the College’s 56th Commencement Ceremony on Thursday, June 1, 2023 at 11 am. on the Brockton Campus. Courtesy photo.

BROCKTON, Mass (May 9, 2023) – Massachusetts State Representative Rita Mendes will deliver the keynote address at Massasoit Community College’s 56th Commencement Ceremony on Thursday, June 1, 2023. Massasoit will confer degrees on more than 850 graduates at the ceremony on the Brockton Campus that begins at 11 am.

Rep. Mendes, a member of the Massasoit Class of 2006, will return to the College’s commencement 17 years after missing her own graduation. Born in Brazil, she immigrated to the United States at age 12 and has since built a successful life and career in Brockton. She was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in November of 2022, and is serving the remainder of her term as a Brockton At-Large City Counselor. Rep. Mendes is active in the Brockton community and as a Massasoit alumna, and currently serves on the Massasoit Community College Foundation Board.

“Seventeen years ago, I was not able to attend my own graduation ceremony at Massasoit, so I am overwhelmed with joy to have been invited to give this year’s Commencement address,” said Rep. Mendes. “It is my honor to share my story with this year’s graduates, and I hope that my words can inspire them to not only go on to four-year schools or begin new careers, but to lead active lives and to serve their communities.”

In addition to Rep. Mendes, students will hear remarks from College leadership, a senior member of the faculty, and a student speaker selected from a pool of graduates who each drafted a speech for consideration.

“Over the past few months, we’ve considered several individuals nominated to deliver the address, but few had all the qualities we look for in a good speaker: charismatic, passionate about education, and connected to the communities we serve,” said Ray DiPasquale, President of Massasoit Community College. “Rep. Mendes has these strong qualities, and we are honored that she can join us. Our community will enjoy hearing from her, and our graduates will be inspired by the example she has set.”

With both a thriving law practice and a real estate agency, Rep. Mendes has become a leading Brazilian-American attorney on the South Shore. Fluent in Portuguese and Spanish she has led the way for many of our new citizens to become homeowners. As a trilingual attorney focusing on both civil and criminal litigation, she has fast become a go to person for many who have immigration, criminal, divorce, and custody issues in the Brockton area.

Aside from being an attorney and a real estate broker, Rita Mendes is a mother, a homeowner, and a wife. She also volunteers her time in the community as an attorney at the New England Community Center. After graduating from Massasoit, she completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Rep. Mendes earned her juris doctorate degree from New England Law | Boston.

About Massasoit Community College
Founded in 1966, Massasoit Community College offers students from southeastern Massachusetts and beyond access to more than 60 associate degree and certificate programs across arts, sciences, applied sciences, healthcare, and technology at locations in Brockton, Canton, Middleborough, and online. More than 900 students graduate with a degree or certificate each year from Massasoit, and 2,600 students annually enroll in non-credit community education or workforce development courses. Massasoit students are given access to wraparound services provided on campus to support their success inside and outside the classroom. For more information, visit

Learn more about Commencement

Alex J. Villanueva
508-588-9100 x1846