Ana Maria Espinoza

Ana Espinoza receiving her diploma at graduationMy experience at CCC has honestly been the best experience that I feel I could have had as a mother of four, being married and working part-time. I enjoyed attending CCC, mainly online with a few web-blended and on-campus courses. My experience as a CCC student was worthy of sacrifice, money, energy and time because of the opportunities that are now available to me. 

My favorite part about attending CCC was the flexibility and financial opportunities that it provided me with as an online student. I was awarded plenty of scholarships through CCC, which helped me immensely as a DACA recipient with minimal financial help. I was able to study, read, do homework and do everything that a college student does, on my time. Keeping due dates in mind, the flexibility allowed me to achieve a 3.75 GPA. Some days I would study in the mornings while my kids were in school. Other days I would study at night while my household slept. There were even times that I studied while on the road and away from home. 

Professor Michelle Bentz, out of the Columbus Campus, was my sociology instructor for two courses. She was knowledgeable in her area of work, relatable, and I appreciated her point of view full of value from actual in-person experiences she had in sociology outside of CCC. She also nominated me as the 2020-2021 Exceptional Student for Sociology. She saw something me that I never saw, my passion, capabilities, and understanding of sociology. Because of this, the knowledge learned, experiences in her classroom, and her, I was influenced and motivated to pursue a degree in criminal justice and become a probation officer, working with youth in the system. After deciding this, I learned she was also a probation officer before becoming an instructor, which I thought was both interesting and cool. 

Sociology and criminal justice go hand in Because of CCC, graduating with an associate of science and an associate of arts, I achieved enough credits to apply for and become a local substitute teacher at Holdrege Public Schools. It is a good-paying job and gives me the experience and opportunity that I had been yearning for, which was to work with young children, adolescents and teenagers. This opportunity is another valuable experience to add to my resume and improve my awareness of others. I am also currently working on completing a mental health advocate certificate through CCC which will and has increased my knowledge in mental health, making me a good candidate for any workplace, especially with rehabilitated youth or youth in the system, which is my dream job. 

I chose CCC primarily because of its location and affordability. There is a CCC learning center where I live. This created the right circumstances for me, as I was a stay-at-home mom, and attending a campus was close to impossible. I continued to choose CCC up until graduation because of the quality of the knowledge being taught, gained and learned. The local web-blended courses, at my local learning center, and online had a great learning environment. It was very inclusive, easy to manage and comprehend, and it was also hands-on. The affordability along with many opportunities to receive scholarships through CCC, made it very affordable. What I paid out of pocket was doable and was nothing compared to the opportunities and knowledge I would gain in return. 

Ana Espinoza giving a presentation

My CCC education has had a positive impact on me, my family, and others. Being an online student provided me with opportunities and time to serve in my community as a Teammates mentor, Meals on Wheels volunteer, Sunday School teacher, Christian Education Board member, and substitute teacher. I have gained so much knowledge through CCC college courses, which has helped me to apply it and put it into practice as I serve my community. I have impacted my family by leading with my actions. Goals can be achieved no matter where you are in life, and with perseverance and dedication goals and dreams can be accomplished. It has had an impact on me by motivating me to keep going. I will continue to pursue my dreams and attain a bachelor’s degree. 

All the credits earned at CCC were transferable to Purdue University Global, where I will be attending starting Jan. 5, 2022. This also means that I am more than halfway done with attaining my bachelor’s degree. Having this solid foundation goes to prove that education at CCC pays off. 

I received a full-ride scholarship through TheDream.US to attend Purdue University Global. I will be majoring in criminal justice with a concentration in juvenile justice. I plan to work with rehabilitated youth and/or youth in the system. Thanks to a good GPA through CCC and attaining an associates’s degree, it boosted my eligibility to receive this scholarship. This year I also received the Global Seal of Biliteracy in Spanish and English in the Working Fluency, which is the second-highest fluency one can receive (professional fluency is first), paired with my education at CCC and now Purdue, I know I will go places. Thank you, CCC!