PGCC Student to Deliver Keynote Address at 2017 Trustees Leadership Conference

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Article by: Artelia C. Gillam

 LARGO, MD – Prince George’s Community College (PGCC), an institution committed to transforming the lives of the unique and diverse student population it serves, is proud to announce that one of its own has been selected by the Maryland Community College Student Speaker Selection Committee to provide the keynote address to college presidents, trustees, and other administrators at the Annual Trustee Leadership Conference and Legislative Reception on January 23, 2017 in Annapolis, Maryland.

Marien Haider, a first-year psychology major at PGCC, first came to the college in 2013 when she enrolled in the GED program as a way to improve her life and finances after struggling financially and losing her home to foreclosure. After successfully obtaining a high school diploma and through the support and encouragement she received from faculty and staff here at the college, Haider says she felt empowered to further her education by pursuing her associate degree in the spring of 2014.

“When I found out that I had been selected I couldn’t stop screaming, because I was so excited,” said Haider.  “I look forward to sharing my story.”

Haider, a native of Nigeria, learned about the opportunity to apply to deliver the speech after seeing a flyer advertising the student speaker application as she was leaving her Public Speaking class.  Student speakers chosen for this honor share their stories of how attending a community college has impacted their lives.  Additionally, these stories also express the changes that have come about as a result of the connections they have made on campus and beyond.

Marien said that during the darkest periods of her life when she was distraught and suicidal, had it not been for programs like the GED program and the open enrollment process that is offered by community colleges like PGCC, she would not be here to share her story.

“I believe that nothing good comes easy,” Haider said. “There were a lot of strikes against me, but I still made it and if I can make it – then I believe that anyone else can too.”

“Students with powerful stories like Marien’s are indicative of the work we do at all of Maryland’s community colleges,” said Charlene M. Dukes, president of Prince George’s Community College. “Our sole purpose is to ensure that we are focused on transforming the lives of the students who enter our doors through education.  We are pleased that Marien will have the opportunity to share her journey.”

About Prince George’s Community College
Named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance designated by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security (2015-2020), Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) provides high-quality education and training for the progressive and career-oriented residents of Prince George’s County. From new high school graduates and career seekers to more seasoned professionals and senior citizens looking to enhance their skillsets, PGCC is comprised of students who represent a wide range of ages, backgrounds, and goals. Serving nearly 40,000 individuals annually, the college is the first choice for higher education for residents of Prince George’s County. Collaborative partnerships, responsive degree and training programs, and a commitment to student success enables PGCC to address diverse education and workforce development demands. For more information, visit the college website at Prince George’s Community College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104; (267-284-5000); The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation.