Mother and Son Turn to CCM to Realize Their Dreams for a Better Life
Majors: Respiratory Therapy, Engineering Technology
Sahar Alfarraj and Rami Shedadeh, of Butler, are not only mother and son; they also are both students at County College of Morris (CCM) pursuing their dreams of a better life.
Alfarraj, 42, a full-time substitute teacher and mother of four, is studying respiratory therapy. Her son, 20, is studying Engineering Technology. Even though they have different majors, they ended up finding themselves taking the same College Algebra class together.
‚ÄúWe were walking to class and realized we were both walking to the same room,‚ÄĚ recalls Shedadeh.
‚ÄúBeing an educator and mother, this fascinated me and truly warmed my heart to see them learning together and showing the class that there does not have to be a generation gap in college,‚ÄĚ says Lisa Mathus, who taught that class.
Alfarraj and Shedadeh explain that they both chose CCM based on its reputation for providing an outstanding education. Several of Shedadeh‚Äôs cousins also have attended the college and have high praise for the education they received. Shedadeh‚Äôs younger brother, Ramsey, also will be attending CCM.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre one big family here,‚ÄĚ says Shedadeh.
‚ÄúI was searching for a good school and CCM has good ratings,‚ÄĚ adds Alfarraj. She has not been disappointed. ‚ÄúThe professors and students are all really helpful here,‚ÄĚ she says. ‚ÄúThe professors push you to do your best. They say, ‚ÄėYou can do it,‚Äô so you believe you can do it.‚ÄĚ
While she has multiple responsibilities as a wife, mother, teacher and student, Afarraj believes juggling all those duties is worth it.
‚ÄúThis is my dream. I have to finish this,‚ÄĚ she says. Her advice to other adult students is, ‚ÄúDo not give up. If you have a dream, follow your dream. Do not let anything stop you.‚ÄĚ
Shedadeh‚Äôs goal is to earn a bachelor‚Äôs degree and perhaps a master‚Äôs degree in engineering after he obtains his associate degree.
Being a student at CCM, he explains, has allowed him to focus on his education rather than having his attention divided between ‚Äúpartying and studying.‚ÄĚ He adds, ‚ÄúThe way I was raised is to get my work done. I want to do what I have to do to finish my education as soon as possible and to better my financial status.‚ÄĚ And CCM, he adds, is providing him with the foundation to accomplish that goal.