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. Young male college student with his mother.Even though they have different majors, they ended up finding themselves taking the same College Algebra class together.

“We were walking to class and realized we were both walking to the same room,” recalls Shedadeh.

“Being 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,” 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’s cousins also have attended the college and have high praise for the education they received. Shedadeh’s younger brother, Ramsey, also will be attending CCM.

“We’re one big family here,” says Shedadeh.

“I was searching for a good school and CCM has good ratings,” adds Alfarraj. She has not been disappointed. “The professors and students are all really helpful here,” she says. “The professors push you to do your best. They say, ‘You can do it,’ so you believe you can do it.”

While she has multiple responsibilities as a wife, mother, teacher and student, Afarraj believes juggling all those duties is worth it.

“This is my dream. I have to finish this,” she says. Her advice to other adult students is, “Do not give up. If you have a dream, follow your dream. Do not let anything stop you.”

Shedadeh’s goal is to earn a bachelor’s degree and perhaps a master’s 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 “partying and studying.” He adds, “The 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.” And CCM, he adds, is providing him with the foundation to accomplish that goal.