By JOE GIDDENS
This year’s Multicultural Convocation will be celebrated on May 4, starting at 6 p.m. in the Aztecs Gymnasium at the West Campus. The convocation, is a more intimate celebration honoring Pima Community College graduate’s academic achievements and the entire makeup of its student body.
There will be a free reception with a variety of food highlighting different cultures. Participants are bestowed with a diversity sash that they can sport again at the May 17, 2018 Graduation Ceremony at the Tucson Convention Center.
Reservations to attend were due April 27.
“I believe that the multicultural convocation is one of the best things that we do at this institution,” said East Campus President Lorraine Morales “Because it provides an opportunity to celebrate, our … students in a little smaller environment where they have an opportunity to share a message with their families.”
If Bruce has a superpower it would be a heightened sense of empathy. He’s always taking care of people within and outside of his family. He’s the current president of Social Services Organization President, and a member of Pima’s diversity club. His father’s side of the family immigrated from Mexico, meeting the maternal side of his family in Buckeye Arizona. He moved to Florida for two years and moved back to northeast Scottsdale in 2010
Bruce first enrolled at Pima in spring of 2014 after completing his GED the prior semester. Completing it gave him the motivation to continue on with his education.
“ I didn’t want to stop,” he said. “My nephew was starting high school and I wanted to start talking to them about college.I was a dropout. I dropped out of high school twice and um, and I wanted to, I wanted to be able to help them through the college process and I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it if I didn’t do it myself. So I started taking some classes at El Rio.
Bruce has been studying social work, finding he enjoys learning about social policy and social change. And has been working with the United Way on resource development,
“I raised my niece and nephew. My nephew is 20 he just moved down on his own and my niece is nine, so I’ve had them for six years,” he said. “I just wanted to give the kids a better, more stable environment.”
When Bruce restarted his education his goal was to complete before his nephew completed high school, the two have motivated each other to completion with his nephew technically finishing before him. However, his nephew will learning about welding at Pima.
Bruce hopes he can continue to inspire others at the Convocation, and by continuing his studies at the ASU School of social work here in Tucson. And by continuing to work with organizations that can help further his knowledge in the field, to do the most good for himself and most for others.
“I want to reach that one person in the crowd that was had walked a little bit of my walk in the sense of being an addict overcoming addiction,” he said. “But understanding that the difference between me and somebody currently using is just the choice that I say no, I want to touch that person to inspire them that they can be where I am today.
“We put so much self doubt on ourselves and we kick ourselves until we convinced ourselves into thinking that this isn’t for us, that this isn’t our life, but stepping out, stepping out of our comfort zone, you can where I am today and that I have that belief system that I did it. I still believe I’m living somebody else’s life sometimes.”
“My first memory (Of Pima) was being very, very sleep deprived because I was working full time at St Joseph’s hospital,” said Cheyanne Woodrow.
Cheyanne is originally from Roseburg Oregon, but had a desire to get out and experience something different relocating to Tucson after high school. She first enrolled at Pima in fall 2015.
Subsequently, she’s joined Phi Theta Kappa the main honor society for community colleges, worked with Light the Night Leukemia Walk put on by by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Much like that organization Cheyanne plans on furthering medical research.
“I want to be part of the infectious disease specialist side of working with biology … and work with the CDC and hopefully try and find a way to make it where antibiotics are obsolete by going after the DNA of the bacteria.” she said.
After the hazy memories of sleep deprivation one of her fondest memories of Pima is taking Biology 181.
“My Biology 181 instructor Lisa Werner … was so nice and it was just so much fun carrying out the different laboratories that she would have us do.” she said.
She feels that she’s become more confident since enrolling at Pima considering she struggled at first to find academic success when she relocated to Arizona, and being chosen as a convocation speaker is her proudest achievement at Pima. And hopes that her convocation speech on the value of perseverance can inspire others. Cheyanne is applying to ASU, and further plans on “getting a master’s in biology as well.”