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Working and Raising Family While Earning Degree Worth the Struggle for Muslim Mom

Shanila Aslam, 35, valedictorian of the Class of 2006, has always recognized the importance of education, even before leaving Pakistan 17 years ago when she married her husband who lived in the United States. She enrolled part-time at Tunxis in 1995 while juggling the responsibilities of caring for her then-infant daughter and four-year-old son.

“My achievements came through hard work, determination and sacrifice, but Tunxis also played an important role in making me a successful student,” said Aslam, who received an A.S. in computer information systems (CIS), in her Commencement address. “The small class sizes at Tunxis provided a great opportunity for learning and the teachers here are committed to students’ success, as they are always willing to help in every possible way,” she continued. “So, thanks to all our teachers who gave us the inspiration to succeed and learn from our experiences at Tunxis, including Mr. Shah (professor of data processing), who helped me tremendously in cultivating my interest in information technology.”

While attending Tunxis, Aslam worked at AI Engineers, Inc. in Middletown, and was promoted to business development manager there last year. Over the past five years at the company, she has become more interested in business, and plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree, possibly in finance or management. Aslam resides in Farmington.