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Community College, A Vital Pathway

College & Career Readiness, Elections | 10/18/2016

Patrick McReynolds Arizona Marketing & Communications Director

As Marketing and Communications Director, Patrick spreads the message about the good Arizona parents and students are doing, and ways the state could help them and their teachers do even better.

My name is Alejandra Maldonado-Alfaro.  

I’m 18-years-old and a volunteer for Stand for Children Arizona. I am also a current student at Phoenix College, where I want to study Nursing. I made the decision on my major after I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes back in 2011. Shortly after that life-altering event, I knew I wanted to help other children and teens who are also going through the same struggles and challenges of diabetes. From my experience, I can say there is nothing like having a Nurse who understands the fears and frustrations that this dangerous disease brings. Diabetics don’t just get scars on our fingers from all of the blood glucose checking, or small dots on our body from all the needles. We have emotional scars that never go away.  There is no cure for the scars that others can’t see, and can’t possibly understand.

I chose Phoenix College for my education because it is affordable.

I could have gone to a 4-year University like ASU, NAU, or GCU, but I don’t get any help for my education from the Government. That, of course, makes it more of a challenge for me to get the education I need. If it wasn’t for Community Colleges, I honestly don’t think I would be able to pursue my dream. But once I graduate, students like myself give back to the surrounding community.  In fact, for every dollar that society spends on the Maricopa Community College District, society receives $12.10 in benefits.  It’s nice to know I’m a good investment.

Learn who Stand for Children Arizona is endorsing for the Community College Board

Community Colleges also make it so much easier to succeed because they offer payment plans for my tuition. They also offer many of the same credentials that you will find at a 4-year University. The Medical Field Programs in the Maricopa Community College System are really important because so many people want to go to college to become a Nurse, Medical Assistant or some other job in the Medical Field, but can’t afford a 4-year University. Community Colleges make it a lot easier to be able to pay out-of-pocket.

Some say Community Colleges are not as valuable because they don’t have the same level of credentials that you find at a 4-year University.  Others are actively trying to close campuses and displace students.  But I don’t think they see the benefit so many people like me will ultimately bring to society. To me, Community Colleges make dreams come true.

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