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.
Caterfit Yuma Executive Chef and Owner
My education allows me to help others. After studying Dietetics and practicing in local care centers, school kitchens and several locations with AWC programs, I noticed that my passion was on cooking and making people enjoy their meals. I decided to take on another degree and went for Culinary Arts. For several years, I enjoyed cooking and learning new cooking techniques. I loved empowering trainees to feel passion for this career as well. After finishing a Bachelor's degree in business management, I followed my teacher’s advice and created a business, CaterFit, where I offer a wide variety of meal plans to suit different lifestyles: Paleo, vegan, gluten free and vegetarian diets, just to name some of them. The best part is that I can creatively put menus together and have fun cooking while teaching people how easy it is to prepare delicious and healthy meals. In addition to managing CaterFit, I still hold my full time position as executive chef at a local Living Center.
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!!
2017 Hall of Fame Recipient
Before Bengie Molina was an Angel, a Blue Jay, a Giant, or a Ranger – he was a Matador. After graduating from high school with honors in Puerto Rico, Molina played shortstop and pitched for Arizona Western College in 1991 and 1992. From there Molina went on to become a catcher in the Major Leagues where he won two World Series rings (Anaheim Angels in 2002, San Francisco Giants in 2010). He was also awarded a Golden Glove as the top defensive player at his position in both 2002 and 2003. Molina’s baseball career includes a rare feat of hitting for the cycle in one game. On July 16, 2010, Molina hit (in order) a single, a double, a grand slam home run, and a triple. He is the first catcher in Major League history to hit for the cycle with a grand slam. After retiring from the majors, Molina went on to coach with the St. Louis Cardinals and the Texas Rangers, and made a third trip to the World Series with St. Louis. Molina is also a published author, having written the New York Times bestselling book “Molina: The Story of the Father Who Raised an Unlikely Dynasty.”
C. Candy Camarena
C. Candy Camarena’s determination and consistent efforts to achieve success have firmly established his solid reputation as an attorney and community benefactor. Camarena has been instrumental in the development and sponsorship of the La Cosecha Banquet at Arizona Western College. At the La Cosecha Banquet, graduates from all walks of life are recognized for their perseverance in attaining an Associate’s degree, many times in the face of obstacles. Students are encouraged to transfer to a university to continue their studies toward bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees and to return to this community as professionals. Over the years, Camarena has planted the seed to raise funds for over 250 scholarships and has made it possible for over 1700 graduates and their families to be recognized at the La Cosecha Harvest Dinner event. Camarena’s other philanthropic efforts include Gethsemani Food Ministries, Crossroads Rescue Mission, Amberly’s Place, and Young Life. Because of his own journey, overcoming obstacles to achieve his dream, Camarena resembles many AWC graduates. He recently celebrated his 25th year of practicing both civil and criminal law in Yuma courtrooms. Camarena says, “I learned early to work hard to sustain myself, but also to accept help when I needed it, and to help whenever someone else needed it.”
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.
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?