Glendale Community College was never part of her higher-education plan, Associated Students President Janet Shamilian told her fellow graduates Friday.
She had always dreamed of attending UCLA and enrolled at the community college only after being rejected by her first choice.
"I promised myself all along that I would make my experience here the absolute best," Shamilian said. "For this reason I got involved in student government my first semester because I felt I could make a significant impact on this school."
But two years later, with her associate's degree in one hand and acceptance letter from USC in the other, Shamilian said she is thankful she landed where she did.
"Enrolling at GCC allowed me to soon realize that I am living the better dream," Shamilian said.
Glendale Community College handed out associate's degrees and certificates to 728 students at the commencement event that drew a packed crowd to Sartoris Field. The graduates ranged in age from 18 to 71 years old, said President/Supt. Dawn Lindsay. The average grade-point average for the Class of 2011 was 3.08, with 15 students earning 4.0s.