Northland siblings cross the MCC commencement stage together

Jennifer Briceno was excited to graduate from MCC, an occasion that was doubly special for the Briceno family: She was planning to walk across the graduation stage right after her big brother Ivan.

A ‘special moment’ for Jennifer and Ivan Briceno
A ‘special moment’ for Jennifer and Ivan Briceno

The Bricenos hail from the Northland. Both are graduates of Platte County High School, Ivan in 2009 and Jennifer in 2013. They are the first in their family to get a college education. Both are A+ scholars.

“I’m really sad for leaving now,” says Jennifer.

When she started at MCC, she was pursuing a degree in Spanish. As she leaves, she has an associate in arts degree from MCC-Maple Woods and plans to transfer to Park University to get a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, with the goal of becoming a police officer or an immigration agent.

She says she always wanted to be an officer as little girl, and instructors at MCC encouraged her to pursue that dream. “I decided to do what my heart wanted,” Jennifer says.

While Jennifer studied at Maple Woods, Ivan was in school across town at MCC-Business & Technology, earning his environmental science and safety credentials. Jennifer says he plans to continue that course of study at a four-year school.

Any sibling rivalry in the classroom? A little.

“We had a class together. It was chemistry and it was awesome,” says Jennifer. Who got the better grade? Jennifer simply replies, “I was the smartest one in chemistry.”

Jennifer wasn’t initially sure the two could walk together at commencement, since their degrees were coming from different campuses, but MCC arranged for the siblings to follow one another onto the stage.

“I will be walking right after him,” says Jennifer, adding, “I feel like that will be a special moment.”