Published author. Clothing brand owner.
Fourteen-year-old Shania Muhammad is well on her way to breaking down many barriers.
In addition to the above accomplishments, Shania recently became the youngest person to graduate from
Oklahoma City Community College, the state’s fourth-largest higher education institution.
A home-school student and high school graduate from Oklahoma City, Shania enrolled in OCCC at age 13. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in business administration at Oklahoma State University next. She credits her collegiate head start to her parents, also educators, for helping chart an accelerated educational path that started at OCCC.
“I am proud to represent young people of color breaking barriers,” said Shania. “Oklahoma City Community College gave me an opportunity to pursue my education early, prioritizing student success over the traditional college path.”
Her advice to other students is to “always be prepared for your biggest opportunity.”
Shania has launched a new clothing brand called SmartGirl to normalize smart as being cool. A published author of Read, Write, Listen — a book in which she describes how she became one of the youngest African American graduating college students in the country — Shania took advantage of OCCC’s student-first, community-oriented approach to education.
Vincent Bridges, vice president for academic affairs, noted that OCCC’s low student-to-faculty ratio provides the flexibility to meet students’ individual needs.
“OCCC celebrates all opportunities to help our students advance through their educational journey,” said Bridges. “We have some of the finest faculty of record who believe in putting our students first.”
On the heels of appointing Dr. Mautra Staley Jones in March to become its first woman and person of color as
president, OCCC recently selected Regent Kevin Perry to serve as the institution’s first African American Chairman of the Board. Perry has served on the OCCC Board of Regents since 2016, and is president and CEO of Perry Publishing and Broadcasting Company.
“We are incredibly proud of Shania’s accomplishments, and we are honored that her journey of collegiate academic excellence began at OCCC,” said Jones. “OCCC offers one of the most economically, socially and culturally diverse higher education experiences in the region, and we will continue to prioritize the development of our students.”
At OCCC, minority students comprise 55% of the student population.
Oklahoma City Community College has more than 60 majors to choose from, and more than 40 student-led clubs and organizations. The college offers a high quality, affordable, accredited education with associate degrees, certifications, non-credit classes and leadership opportunities to more than 17,000 students annually.
“I’m honored and excited to serve OCCC and work with President Jones,” said Perry. “In keeping with tradition, every year this great institution makes history with our graduating students. I’m proud to see the history Shania Muhammad is making by being the youngest graduate of our great institution, who happens to be a young Black girl at the age of 14. It is truly an honor and humbling to see the positive difference OCCC faculty and staff are making in our students’ lives.”