Meet some members of the Class of 2014

Mother and daughter to cross stage together

MaryAnn Mulvaney's friends think what's happening next week is "pretty cool." "It's definitely unique," she said.

When she earns her degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management, her mother Robin will be graduating also, with the same degree.

MaryAnn started at SCCC in Fall 2009 and her mother followed in Summer 2010, after she checked in with her daughter about it. "I always wanted to go to college and I always loved to cook," Robin said. "I had raised six kids and MaryAnn was going to school, so I asked her, 'Do you mind if I go to school with you?' " The two began taking classes together and have been sources of moral support and motivation for each other along the way. "We help each other keep track of what's due and when it's due," MaryAnn said. She also said it was comforting to know at least one friendly face right from the beginning when she walked into a new class.

"We study at home together and MaryAnn was always there saying, 'Come on, you can do it,' " Robin said. This fall they both plan to begin pursuing their bachelor's degree from SUNY Delhi on the SCCC campus.

Love for basketball brings new opportunities

It's hard to believe that at one point Shaquille Harding was intimidated on the basketball court, but it's all part of his story. He was playing for his high school team in Brooklyn as a freshman and decided it wasn't for him that was until the growth spurt.

He was 5 feet 11 inches tall then and between his sophomore and junior years he gained height and confidence. (He's now six feet six inches tall.) And like a lot of things in his life, he attributes a change in mindset to his mother Gillian. "My mom practically forced me to come to a practice," he said smiling. "As I came to practice more and saw myself improve skill wise, I loved it more and more."

After high school Shaquille was recruited by a former coach for the SCCC Royals and arrived on campus in September 2011. Just like things opened up for him in eighth grade when he was in a program where he took college courses at New York University, the opportunities started presenting themselves at SCCC and he jumped on board.

During the summer of 2013, he got even more serious about basketball, having private training sessions and his skills got even better. "Everything improved my jump shot, my knowledge of the game and it all kept me in school," he said. "My grades started getting better because I wanted to be on the court."

This past season he was co-captain of the team and forward. The toughest game of the past season was the most incredible when without a full team, the Royals played their hearts out against Herkimer and he scored a career high of 28 points. He said that during that game even his opponents and their coaches were asking him which school he would be playing for next year. In addition to his presence on the court, Shaquille could frequently be seen giving tours around campus this year as a student worker in the Admissions Office.

He's also an intern at the Center for Community Justice in Schenectady where he documents and oversees parents' visitations with their children. He also has assisted with the re-entry program for individuals coming out of prison, something he describes as "life-changing."Again, he reflects back on the words of his mother. "My mom always stressed to me to get involved, get involved and now I know why. I've been part of some amazing programs."

So where will be go next? It looks like Florida Memorial University is the main contender. Shaquille plans to pursue a bachelor's degree in sociology or communications. He would like to one day counsel athletes and work with them in a physical therapy setting.

Adam Flock, Performing Arts: Music, Transferring to: Ithaca School of Music for bachelor's degree. Career goal: Music teacher

Kiara Shelley, Criminal Justice, Transferring to: SUNY Canton for bachelor's degree. Career goal: Probation officer

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