The Arizona Western College Alumni Association will work to develop pride in Arizona Western College and promote the educational, professional, and personal development of alumni and friends of AWC. The Alumni Association operates to increase resources by raising funds for scholarships and creating partnerships that support the mission of AWC.
Lorena ‘Nena’ Zendejas
Teacher at Gary Knox Elementary School
Nena is a coordinator for the ASU/Yuma County Early Literacy Project and a member of the Arizona School Boards Association. And participates in community committees and activities such as YES for Somerton Kids, Somorton School Board, Somerton Planning and Zoning Commision and the Somrton Future High School Committee.
Adult Education Program Coordinator, Somerton School District
My name is Magnolia Alonzo and I would like to share a little of who I am and why education has always been important in my life. I presently work as Adult Education Program Coordinator for the Somerton School District and have been in this position for the past three years. Prior to this, I was an elementary teacher for twelve years in the same school district. My job now is different because it involves teaching adults as opposed to children; still, the love of teaching, guiding and advising others is the motivation of my profession.
I currently hold a Masters in School Counseling and a Bachelors in Elementary Education with a dual minor in Bilingual Education and Childhood Development. Getting to this point in my education was not easy as it took lots of sacrifice and commitment. As I decided to get married and start a family at an early age, barriers to complete my studies came along, yet I still had the desire to fulfill my career dreams and goals.
Both my husband and I had the same ambitions in life; we knew if we wanted to raise a family and live a confortable life, we would have to make sacrifices, nonetheless it would all workout in the end. It is for this reason I knew attending Arizona Western College was going to be the best choice of school. I was able to complete my Associate’s Degree along with all childhood development and introduction to education classes; which in turn prepared me to transfer my studies for my Bachelor and Master Programs. For both my husband and I attending AWC was the push we needed to help us realize our education would not end there, rather it was only the beginning of a few more years to come.
I always knew I wanted to be a teacher and a school counselor; but I never imagined I could do both acting as a coordinator of an educational institution. I always struggled with the idea of exercising both jobs, as I have a passion for educating and counseling people. Now I am part of the education and guidance of adults who will in turn go home and pass on to their children the importance of education, attaining a career and presenting a better future for their family and community. As a leader in education, I am able to transfer this passion of education to my adult learners by supporting them and guiding them to find their career path. I am able to do this with the help and support of my AWC partners and guidance advisers. It is for this reason that education is and will always be a key component in my profession and in my family.
I believe if we educate our-selves, not only academically, but also in our values, self-expectations, motivations and priorities, we will help our children to grow and become outstanding adults and their minds set in what they want to become in life. It is never too late to pursue an education and attain a career, especially having AWC as a starting point and great support in our education.
Associate Superintendent, Gadsden Elementary School District
Olivia Elizondo Zepeda, an immigrant child and binational migrant farm worker from the age of 10 moved from Mexico to San Luis, AZ when she was 14. With over 39 years of experience in education, Zepeda has taught elementary through university levels and served as the Associate Superintendent of the Gadsden Elementary School District for 17 years. She has a passion and track record for service and education. Zepeda was appointed to the AWC District Governing Board in March, 2012 and has worked to support successful student outcomes and a college-going culture. Her diverse board service includes Learning Forward, the Yuma Education Foundation, Campesinos Sin Fronteras, the Yuma Education Access Council, Arizona Community Foundation Board, American Beginnings Board, Arizona TESOL, and Yuma Fine Arts. Zepeda is frequently called upon to give national and international presentations on the successes of the students in South Yuma County. In 2012, Zepeda received the OHTLI award, a designation of distinction for a successful Latino/a by the Mexican Consulate in the United States. Zepeda has made a lasting contribution to the communities she serves, especially in the South Yuma County, by transforming student learning opportunities.
Honorable Juan Manuel Guerrero
Judge Guerrero joined the U. S. Navy and served ten years as a Navy Hospital Corpsman with the 1st Marine Division Camp Pendleton, California and the Marine Corp Base, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.
After his military service, Judge Guerrero returned to Yuma and joined the Yuma County Sheriff’s Department where he served the community as a Patrol Deputy and a Narcotics Detective. He has also served as a Patrol Commander for the Cocopah Tribal Police Department. Judge Guerrero has further served as a criminal investigator for the State of Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections Internal Affairs Division and the Executive Director with the Tribal Gaming Commission. Judge Guerrero has been a Law Enforcement Instructor for the AWC Police Academy and a State Certified Private Investigator.
In addition to his extensive background in law enforcement at the State and Federal levels. In 2008, he was recognized as ‘One of the Ten Most Influential Hispanics of Yuma County’ and was nominated for the ‘Heart of Yuma for Outstanding Leadership’ award.
Judge Guerrero was elected on November 4, 2014, as Justice of the Peace, Precinct #2, and took office on January 1, 2015.
Democratic Leader of the Arizona House of Representatives
State Representative Charlene Fernandez currently serves Legislative District 4 -- which includes parts of Yuma, Maricopa, Pima, and Pinal Counties -- in the Arizona legislature, and is the Democratic Caucus Leader of the House of Representatives.
Charlene is one of the legislature's strongest advocates for public education, frequently pushing for more school funding from her position on the appropriations committee.
Prior to being elected to the legislature, Charlene worked in a variety of policy and constituent service roles for Congressman Ed Pastor, Governor Janet Napolitano and Congressman Raúl Grijalva. Charlene also served for more than 12 years on the Yuma Union High School Board.
Charlene was born and raised in Yuma, Arizona. She attended Yuma High School where she graduated, and went on to attend Arizona Western College before transferring to Northern Arizona University earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. We are proud to say that she got her start at AWC! Once a Matador, always a Matador!!
Frequently Asked Questions
The AWC Alumni Association (AWCAA) works to develop pride in AWC and promote the educational, professional, and personal development of alumni and friends. AWCAA operates to increase resources by raising funds for scholarships and creating partnerships that support the mission of AWC.
An AWC alumnus is a graduate or former student of Arizona Western College.
Go to foundation.azwestern.edu and click on Alumni. Complete the online registration form and pay $20 fee for the Alumni Perks Card. We’re thrilled to welcome former students and recent graduates alike into our AWC Alumni Association. Get excited, because you’re a part of a BIG community with amazing accomplishments. Expect to receive various discounts on goods and services, Constant Contact newsletter with networking and upcoming events, and involvement opportunities that will keep you connected. Be sure to submit your current contact information, and update it if you move. With your support of $20 a year, keep your pride and appreciation for the College alive by sharing your story with others.
To obtain a new copy of your diploma, visit the College's Student Records and Registration Department to fill out a back order diploma form.
AWC has authorized the National Student Clearinghouse to provide transcript ordering online. You can order transcripts using any major credit card. Your card will only be charged after your order has been completed. Visit Student Records to request your transcript.
The College's Student Records department handles degree verification. AWC has authorized the National Student Clearinghouse to provide enrollment and degree verifications to employers and student loan servicers. If you have a specific form that needs verification of enrollment, you will need to contact the Admissions and Registration office to obtain verification.
If you are an employer or background screening firm requesting this information, visit www.degreeverify.org.
Contact Info Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: (928) 344-7550
Fax: (928) 344-7543
Location: 3C - Top Floor
Hours: Monday - Thursday: 7:00am - 5:00pm
Make a gift online or visit our website for more information about ways to give.
Call the AWC Foundation Office at 928-344-1720 for information about Named Scholarships, Gifts of Stock and Planned Giving.
Any other questions?