City Colleges of Chicago Celebrates Associate Degree Graduates in First-Ever Virtual Commencement Ceremony this Saturday


On Saturday, June 27th at 9 a.m., City Colleges of Chicago students, families, friends, faculty and staff will be able to view the community college system’s first virtual Commencement Ceremony online at   More than 3,700 graduates from across the seven City Colleges of Chicago celebrate earning their associate degree this year.

“Our students’ accomplishments, in the face of the historic challenges of the past semester, further confirm what universities and employers already know – City Colleges students are remarkably talented and persistent,” said Juan Salgado, Chancellor, City Colleges of Chicago.  “With a degree in hand, our students are on the path to upward mobility and will contribute to creating a more inclusive Chicago economy.”

City Colleges graduates are as diverse as Chicago itself – many work full or part-time jobs while attending school, are caring for families, and some have overcome challenges of food or housing insecurity to earn their degree.  The graduates are continuing on to local and national four-year institutions as well as starting or continuing in careers in high-demand fields.

Some of City Colleges’ inspiring graduates include:

  • Rocio Martinez Villa (Malcolm X College): After working in restaurants for years and then graduating high school, Rocio wanted more – but wasn’t sure exactly what. Once she started taking classes at Malcolm X College, her eyes were opened to all the career possibilities in the healthcare field. She found rehabilitation therapy – something she had never even heard of before – and is now transferring to North Park University so that she can someday work with the elderly.
  • Luis Matos (Truman College): Luis, the valedictorian for Truman College, is a former Star Scholar who landed a software engineering apprenticeship at JPMorgan & Chase through City Colleges’ apprenticeship program. Now, he is studying for a bachelor’s in cybersecurity at Illinois Tech and has just been hired full-time at Chase after completing his year-long apprenticeship.
  • Hidaya Hassan (Wright College): As a first-generation college student, Hidaya Hassan and her family are thrilled that she earned her associate degree this spring without having paid any tuition thanks to the Star Scholarship. She also was named Wright College’s valedictorian. This fall, Hidaya will continue on her path to her dream career, starting the pharmacy program at UIC.
  • Suzzette Anderson (Olive-Harvey College): This 49-year-old mom of two started at Olive-Harvey with GED classes. Now, she has earned an Associate of Applied Science in Supply Chain Management & Logistics, landed a job in her field at UPS, and will be among the first students to start a new concentration in Chicago State University’s School of Business in Supply Chain Management this fall.
  • Alyse Moore (Daley College): Alyse Moore attended Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy, a Chicago public high school, because of its strong academics and Early College partnership with Daley College. She completed her Associate of Science in Computer Science in December 2019 – six months before she earned her high school diploma.
  • Lauren Richards (Kennedy-King College): This mom of four boys returned to school to make a career of advocating for people with disabilities. She worked full-time, while attending school full-time, and is Kennedy-King College’s valedictorian.
  • Daryna Doroshenko (Harold Washington College): In the few short years that she has been in the U.S., Daryna Doroshenko has perfected her English, earned her Associate Degree in Accounting, and has become valedictorian of Harold Washington College. She looks forward to continuing her education and starting her own business.

More City Colleges’ student success stories can be found by visiting: