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.
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.”
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!!
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.
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.
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?