Brookdale Community College’s Continuing and Professional Studies (CPS) Completion Ceremony celebrated the achievements of the 110 students who completed a certificate or professional training course over the past two years. The theme of the night seemed to be the feeling of gratitude for the knowledge learned, encouragement to continue, and the opportunity to achieve goals.
“Congratulations to all of you for making it here to the finish line,” said Dr. David Stout, president of Brookdale. “This is what we live for here at Brookdale Community College. The only reason for our existence is to make sure that you are able to get from where you are to where you want to be,” he said.
“I open every day, every meeting, and every event with one word, ‘gratitude,’” said Joan Scocco, dean of CPS at Brookdale. “I am so grateful to see you all tonight,” she said to the students and their guests.
Siboney Zambrano, who completed the bi-lingual entrepreneur certificate program, explained she was 17-years-old when she came to America from Mexico. She began with English as a Second Language (ESL) classes at Brookdale and returned to complete the certificate program when she wanted to purchase a multi-use store and business from a friend.

Picture of Siboney Zambrano.
Siboney Zambrano completed the bi-lingual entrepreneur certificate through Brookdale’s Continuing and Professional Studies program.

“I didn’t know a thing about running a business,” Zambrano said. She explained during the entrepreneur program, she learned about marketing strategies, market analysis, how to create a business plan, and more. “Now I know where I am going and what to do next to grow my business, and I’m seeing great results,” she said.
“Thanks to everything I have learned here at Brookdale, I know that I will open another store, and I am so grateful,” Zambrano said.
“Thanks to Brookdale’s GED program, I know have my New Jersey High School Equivalence Diploma, and I am so grateful” said Carol Rodriguez. She dropped out of high school when she was 16 after her mother passed away. She had a successful job at a large banking firm, but after 30 years of service, her position was eliminated. “That was a sad day for me, but even sadder was the reality that I didn’t have a high school diploma,” said Rodriguez.

Picture of Carol Rodriguez.
Carol Rodriguez completed her GED with the help of Brookdale’s ABE program.

When Rodriguez realized she needed help to prepare her for the math portion of the GED, she came to Brookdale for help. “There were many nights the GED instructor would offer to stay after class for anyone who needed additional help,” she explained. “I took the math test, and I am happy to say I passed,” she said.
“Even if you don’t feel like you have the support at home or in your life, there are people here, right on this campus, who want you to succeed,” said Lexus Scott, another CPS graduate who was celebrating her success.

Picture of Lexus Scott.
Lexus Scott was one of the student speakers at Brookdale’s CPS Completion Ceremony.

For more information about the certification and professional training options at Brookdale, please visit