Search form

You are here

It’s a Trio of Brotherly Love at Quinsigamond Community College

December, 2018
  • QCC students and siblings Mahmoud, Mustafa and Mohamed Boweden
    QCC students and siblings Mahmoud, Mustafa and Mohamed Boweden

Quinsigamond Community College is a place that many students find to be a nurturing and encouraging environment and siblings Mustafa, Mohamed and Mahmoud Boweden couldn’t agree more. The brothers, who are each attending QCC part-time, have quickly become embedded in the college community not only attending classes, but also becoming an integral part of QCC student life.

Oldest brother Mustafa is a general studies major, middle brother Mohamed is a general studies major with a focus on healthcare, and youngest brother Mahmoud is majoring in computer information systems - web development and programming option. 

While the three have seamlessly integrated into QCC, the brothers have only been in the U.S. a relatively short time, having moved with their parents and two younger brothers from Libya in 2014 when they were all in high school. They came to the U.S. close to Thanksgiving (and saw their first snow) moving first to Connecticut, then Revere, Mass. before finally settling in Hopedale.

“It was hard when we came here. I knew very basic (English) words. It was hard being in a classroom and not know what the other students were saying,” Mohamed said. “In high school we were trying to get used to the system.”

Oldest brother Mustafa said that while he was supposed to be a senior in high school, he was kept back initially so that he could work on his English.

“After a semester in an ESL (English as a Second Language) class, I received a certificate for outstanding ESL learner. It was a very exciting moment for me,” he said.

After high school graduation Mustafa first went to Bunker Hill Community College, since it was closer to his former home. When his family moved to Hopedale, he looked into transferring to a closer college.

“I looked at Mass Bay and QCC. What I really liked was the QCC campus and how open it was, so I came to QCC,” he said.

Mustafa began taking his general studies classes at QCC in the fall of 2017. He plans to continue his education in the law field, possibly focusing on international law after he graduates from QCC. His brother Mohamed also started at QCC at the same time, focusing on healthcare. His goal is to continue his education after QCC and one day become a dentist. Each said the financial savings they’ve obtained by attending QCC was very important to them, as well as the educational and emotional support they’ve received. 

“When we came to QCC we had a lot of people here who were helpful to us,” Mohamad said.

“There are people here at QCC who opened my eyes to the many activities that are here,” Mustafa added.

In fact, the brothers have been so involved with the college that this year Mustafa became vice president of QCC’s student Senate, Mohamed is in charge of public relations and youngest brother Mahmoud, who began QCC in fall 2018, is a senate member.

“It’s really nice that the three of us are together,” Mahmoud said. “QCC is a very nice school.The people and professors are so friendly. I’ve made friends here.”

According to Mustafa, trying to help enhance the student experience is something he and his brothers feel is very important in paying it forward. They have been working to start up a men’s soccer team and circulated a petition to help get it off the ground.

Soccer been very important to all the brothers and has helped them acclimate them to the U.S. They all played soccer recreationally. Mahmoud was even on the Hopedale High School’s winning soccer team his senior year. It was the first time in the school’s history the team reached the district finals.

Currently they hold impromptu pick-up games at the Athletic Center two times a week, with the hope of getting a more formal team organized this spring.

“It’s welcoming here.There’s a lot of diversity and immigrants who are here too and that makes you feel more comfortable to have people who have the same issues that you do,” Mustafa said. “If you know someone who is undecided they should come to QCC. It’s a great school. It’s very convenient; it will save you money, plus you’ll get a quality education and there’s so many activities. There’s just lots of options and as more students become involved here the sky’s the limit.”