Prince George's Community College Announces Speakers for 2018 Commencement Ceremony

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Article by: Tabresha B. Langham

For Immediate Release


LARGO, Md. (May 10, 2018) -- Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) is pleased to announce alumna Shirley Hayden as the speaker for this year’s commencement ceremony as well as the recipient of the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award.

“It was such a surprise and honor to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award. And to be asked to deliver the commencement speech was something I would have never expected,” said Hayden. “I am proud to say that I appreciate how well PGCC prepared me for success in business and leadership, and I’m excited to be able to share my experience in hope that others will be encouraged.”

Mrs. Hayden is the vice president of sales at Medtrition Inc. in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and also the patent-holding inventor of The Unique Seat, a convenient and lightweight portable seat and blanket. She is no stranger to Prince George’s County – after graduating from PGCC, she transferred to the University of Maryland, College Park, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in American Studies with a focus on entrepreneurship.

Business and entrepreneurship have been a big part of her life, with business ventures dating back as early as her high school years.  During her time at PGCC, her interest in entrepreneurship persisted and she became a member of the inaugural cohort of the Hillman Entrepreneurs Program, winning business plan competitions in 2007 and 2008. The Unique Seat is perhaps her greatest entrepreneurial success thus far. It was featured on Home Shopping Network and also received more than $100,000 in funding after Hayden’s successful pitches in entrepreneur competitions, including ABC’s “Steve Harvey’s Funderdome.”

She has more than 20 years in sales and business experience, and wants to use her expertise to help elevate others. She established a business coaching division within her company, Vision Quest, IJN, to help professionals on business development. And she is especially passionate about her volunteer work with youth programs and helping young people enter the business arena.

Prince George’s Community College is also pleased to announce LaQuita Pickett as the student commencement speaker for this year’s commencement ceremony.

"What a surprise it was to be presented with this opportunity, and what a privilege it is to have been selected to represent my graduating class,” said Pickett.  “My hope is that my message will resonate with each listener as we transition to the next phases of our journeys. This is just the beginning for us all, but I am thankful to PGCC for providing an amazing foundation to build upon."  

Ms. Pickett is a Washington, D.C. native and the oldest of five children. Growing up, she naturally took on a leadership role and developed a passion for helping others. She excelled scholastically throughout her academic career, including her time at PGCC, where she has maintained a 3.40 GPA.

She received her cosmetology license after graduating from a cosmetology vocational program. But it was her ability to empathize and share stories with her clients coupled with her passion for public speaking that pushed her to pursue a career in communication. She enrolled at PGCC in 2015 to study mass communication. While in the program, she served as a radio personality and content creator at PGCC Radio. She also served as a writer for The Owl newspaper.

Ms. Pickett plans to continue her studies at Howard University in fall 2018 and eventually host her own radio broadcast and author books that showcase the African-American experience and highlight lives of women.

About Prince George’s Community College
Named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance designated by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security (2015-2020), Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) provides high-quality education and training for the progressive and career-oriented residents of Prince George’s County. From new high school graduates and career seekers to more seasoned professionals and senior citizens looking to enhance their skillsets, PGCC is comprised of students who represent a wide range of ages, backgrounds, and goals. Serving nearly 40,000 individuals annually, the college is the first choice for higher education for residents of Prince George’s County. Collaborative partnerships, responsive degree and training programs, and a commitment to student success enable PGCC to address diverse education and workforce development demands. For more information, visit the college website at Prince George’s Community College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104; (267-284-5000); Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation.