Making Graduation a Family Affair

When the Class of 2022 marches into the Stadium for Commencement on Friday, Savannah Mariscal’s mom, Stephannie Mariscal, will be right there with her. In fact, Stephannie will be listed right after Savannah in the program.

Savannah and Stephannie MariscalMother and daughter are both graduating from De Anza this year with associate degrees in Liberal Arts. Stephannie, 50, has been taking classes off and on for more than 20 years. Savannah, 22, came to De Anza in 2019.

“We didn’t realize we’d be graduating at the same time until a few months ago,” Savannah explained. “But it’s been such a cool experience! We’ve been able to take some of the same classes together and help each other out.”

“I’m just so happy we’re doing this together,” said Stephannie .

Working and going to college is never easy. Stephannie always planned to earn her degree, but had to balance classes with working full time as a medical assistant – while she and her husband, Miguel, raised Savannah and her brother, 18-year-old Brandon. Savannah has also been working while taking classes.

Although they’re both graduating this spring, they’re not finished with school. Each wants to become a nurse, so they’re taking a biology class together this spring and hope to enroll in De Anza’s Nursing program in the future.

Both credit De Anza instructors and staff with helping them get this far – giving special shout-outs to academic adviser Phong Lam, Communication Studies instructor Stephanie Anderson and English instructor Jill Quigley for being especially helpful.

“I love De Anza,” said Stephannie Mariscal, adding that Savannah's brother Brandon has signed up for classes here as well.

“It’s been a wild journey," said Savannah. “We’ve been staying up late at night, helping each other with our homework. I’m so proud of my mom for being as strong as she is.”

The pair will attend the Latinx Grad event on Thursday evening, and the collegewide commencement on Friday, before ending their celebration with a family graduation party at home on Saturday.

You'll find photos, stories and more details about commencement at

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