They stood in line wearing square board caps and flowing gowns, standing with shaking knees and consuming deep calming breaths. Faces were bursting with smiles and overflowing pride. These Scott Community College (SCC) students were ready to make that monumental crossing that connects their past to their future careers.  

Are you ready Quad-Cities? They’ve arrived. 

On May 10, family, friends, and Eastern Iowa Community Colleges faculty and staff filled Vibrant Arena at the Mark to celebrate the remarkable accomplishments of more than 700 SCC graduates. The Class of 2024 included students of all ages and backgrounds who set out to earn a certificate, diploma, or degree, and achieved that very goal.  

These proud graduates are not ‘future’ workforce; they are the region’s now-workforce. They are skilled nurses, welders, automotive technicians, cybersecurity professionals, and more. They will step into careers, fill open positions, and contribute their knowledge and skills to strengthen businesses right here, right now.  

Amanda LeVan was already a full-time lead teacher at an early childhood center when she started taking classes at SCC in 2016. A non-traditional student who was also raising a family with her husband, she took one course at a time. Eight years later, she graduated with honors, an associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education, and a lot of pride.  

Amanda LeVan
“I wanted to do this for myself. I wanted to be able to support myself if anything happened to my husband,” she said, adding that her degree opens doors. “I’m elated, happy, excited, and a little nervous like on Christmas morning when you are opening presents and filled with anticipation,” she said.  

Many parents are overcome with pride when their child graduates. For Anthony Holland, the event on Friday held even more significance. His daughter, Keionna Holland, graduated with a Criminal Justice Transfer Major. And he graduated with an associate’s degree in Culinary Arts. 

Anthony and Keionna Holland
“It is great to know we accomplished something together,” said Anthony Holland. “I am very proud, but I am more proud of my daughter. To see her graduating and moving on, making her moves, it's an awesome feeling.”  

Keionna Holland plans to transfer to the University of Iowa, earn a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, and eventually earn the rank of detective. Anthony Holland plans to open a restaurant, anthonys.yammo, in Davenport.  

“Running a food business, there are a lot of things you need to know from basic cutting skill to itemizing and making money from every dollar you bring in. Paying attention and learning everything I did in the classroom will really pay off in the long run,” he said.  

In his Commencement speech, SCC graduate Bradley Thiessen-Cooper said he had been out of school for 14 years when he decided to return, and he excelled. The support he received was key.  

Bradley Thiessen Cooper
“I was never alone. Not only was EICC there for me, I had the support of family and friends. PTK, my advisor, and my husband. Though you may be working on things alone, or in the classroom studying by yourself, there is silently a whole crowd of people standing behind you,” Thiessen-Cooper said. 

He plans to continue working for the SCC Foundation while he attends St. Ambrose University on a full-ride scholarship.  

“It is surreal. I can’t believe it. Four years of hard work and dedication to get here today. One chapter of my life is ending, and another is beginning,” he said. “EICC has prepared me.”