Why South Puget Sound Community College Alumni Success Stories Matter


Submitted by South Puget Sound Community College Foundation

South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) values its relationships with students long after they graduate to pursue their careers. Alumni involvement is part of a natural continuum that helps the college stay in touch with its growing community.

The SPSCC Foundation appreciates and encourages the contributions of alumni who choose to stay connected to the college as volunteers, community partners, ambassadors, mentors, philanthropic contributors, and more. These are key ways to help support student success.

What may be surprising to some graduates is the impact their stories can also have on advancing student success.

Inspiration for Current Students

Alumni success stories can help students, fellow graduates, and community members find inspiration to pursue their dreams, complete their degrees, or keep personal and professional development plans on course.

Hearing about the achievements, alternative paths, successes, and challenges of former SPSCC students can be incredibly motivating for current students. Shared experiences show them possible avenues to professional advancement and a wide variety of opportunities they can build with tools, frameworks, and resources provided through their college.

Students can gain valuable insights from the professional experiences shared through interviews, written materials, or organized classroom discussions. These stories can give students an authentic glimpse into their chosen professional or academic pathway and tips on navigation strategies for a new professional environment.

Automotive Technology Faculty Thomas Witt with Program Manager Kate Moore. Photo credit: Ann Rogers-Williams

The college also benefits from anecdotal alumni feedback. Automotive Technology Program faculty Thomas Witt shared, “We hear a lot of great stories and get valuable feedback from our Automotive Tech alumni. It helps us stay connected with the community as well as the industry.”

Learning about alumni experiences helps current students reaffirm their belief in their own potential to succeed, reinforces their desire to work hard to overcome obstacles, and helps them navigate their own path toward their goals.

Lifting Up the SPSCC Community

When alumni achieve notable success in their careers, they bolster the reputation of SPSCC and their alumni network. Their success also highlights the quality of education and illustrates the college’s ability to produce accomplished community members.

SPSCC’s diverse alumni stories highlight how students from all backgrounds and experiences can thrive, achieve their goals, and give back to the community.

The SPSCC Foundation is proud to share inspiring stories about notable SPSCC alumni. Here are two successful graduates who are making a difference in their community.

ASHHO Cultural Community Center Founder Khurshida Begum

ASHHO Founder Khurshida Begum successfully opened a Cultural Community and Job Training Center that has served the local community for over 15 years. Khurshida’s story and others have a far-reaching influence on students and fellow alumni who have wondered if it is possible to pursue entrepreneurial success as a business owner while helping less fortunate community members.

ASHHO Founder Khurshida Begum at SPSCC’s 2023 MLK Jr. event. Photo credit: Shanna Paxton

SPSCC Foundation Board Member and Community Lobbyist Adán Espino

As a partner at Sermonti Government Relations and Public Affairs, Adán Espino is a Policy Advocate for legislative system policy making. “Primarily, he works within higher education, affordable housing, defense law, and small business issues.  In this role, Adán helps clients navigate the legislative process, engage and build coalitions, and impact policy making for communities in many different counties across Washington State.

Insightful Alumni success stories often include valuable lessons learned on the journey to personal growth and achievement. These experiences can be a source of advice and guidance for fellow alumni as they continue to navigate their career paths.

Alumni Stories Help Strengthen Networks

In addition to nurturing a sense of personal pride in SPSCC’s reputation, alumni storytelling can reinforce community cohesion and a sense of belonging. A special bond of shared experiences, memories of favorite faculty, and appreciation of campus programs can help build trust and build networks that extend throughout the community.

Stories can inspire a supportive network that can be a source of mentorship and networking opportunities. Alumni are often living proof that a particular pathway can work and lead to a larger view of what can be achieved. Shared success stories encourage exploration of common connections, which can create opportunities for collaboration. When alumni share their experiences, it opens up channels for mentorship and collaboration, potentially leading to internships, job opportunities, or other kinds of partnerships.

Reflecting on her connection to the college, SPSCC Foundation Board member Suzanne O’Brien explained, “I was a student back when SPSCC was formerly called Olympia Technical Community College (OTCC). The college and my colleagues helped me put together the puzzle pieces of what I wanted to do. I feel very fortunate that my college experience has given me a shared a sense of belonging with my fellow alumni. Now, as a retiree I am able to give back to SPSCC and my community.”

Share an Alumni Success Story

Are you an SPSCC graduate? Do you know an SPSCC graduate who is making a difference in the community? Consider how these stories and insights can be helpful to others.

If you have an SPSCC alumni success story to share, please contact the SPSCC Foundation office at Foundation@spscc.edu or use the SPSCC Alumni Association contact sheet to share your news.

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