Despite having many roadblocks in his past that could have derailed his journey, Mohammed Khalid persevered and was able to earn not only an associate degree in Cybersecurity from CCBC but at the same time a bachelor's degree in Information Systems from UMBC.
CCBC 2021 graduate
Life was not always easy for Khalid, growing up in Pakistan and immigrating to the United States in his early teen years. Influenced by online extremist groups, he was one of the youngest people charged with terrorism in U.S. history. He was imprisoned for six years, both in federal and immigration custody.
In 2017, Khalid made a life-changing transition back to society and came out of prison with renewed hope for a better future.
“After being released, CCBC became my first home for undergraduate education,” he said. “The beautifully simple CCBC motto ‘see what you can be’ guided my dreams and visions, giving me a second chance.
Khalid thrived at CCBC as a Student Life Ambassador, Student Blogger, vice president of Scholarship for the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, president of the CCBC Speaker’s Club and student editor for CCBC’s literary magazine, Fine Print. His first job opportunity was as a CCBC Cybersecurity intern.
Having been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, he was able to overcome his limitations by interacting with students, faculty, staff and the wider CCBC community. He also works with military and intelligence services, private and civic institutions and policymakers from around the world on counterterrorism efforts.
“The weight of my past was ever-present as a painful knowledge of how far I had come and how far I had to go,” he said. “The fact that I was accepted at CCBC at a time when I was most vulnerable and facing a barrage of rejections was a hope in itself.”
Khalid will attend Johns Hopkins University in the fall to earn his master’s degree in Security Informatics and would like to become a Chief Information Security Officer.