“I am the first generation in my family to attend college and I think because of that I have a greater appreciation for the importance of earning a college degree.”

— Shaheedah Salaam, 2015 HCC Graduate, A.S. Biotechnology

I have always been a good student, and initially, attended HCC during my senior year of high school in dual enrollment. After high school I moved away to attend Florida International University with a keen interest in biology. My introductory biology class had approximately 300 students and I felt lost. The learning environment was not for me. Upon returning home, I enrolled in HCC to pursue an A.S. in biotechnology. Two of my professors, Dr. Ghosh and Dr. Fontaine not only encouraged me, but helped me rethink my career path by connecting academic knowledge to practical applications in the real world. Because of them, I set my trajectory a higher. After graduating from HCC, I transferred to the University of South Florida where I earned a degree in biomedical sciences with an engineering minor. Currently I’m a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in Epidemiology and Global Communicable Diseases at USF’s College of Public Health. HCC not only helped me gain confidence as a student, but helped me find my true passion.