CCC alum graduates from NAU


Kiara Weathersby graduated from NAU in May with a bachelor's degree in business management and psychology.

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- At one time in her life, Kiara Weathersby was a rebel who dropped out of high school because she didn't believe in herself.

That has changed.

Coconino Community College graduate Kiara Weathersby graduated May 8 from Northern Arizona University with bachelor's degrees in business management and psychology.

Born and raised in Flagstaff, Weathersby traveled a long road to reach that day. The journey began in 2008, when she was hired to work at Coconino Community College. Her supervisor, Eva Jones, inspired her to get her general equivalency degree, so she did. After that, she started taking classes at CCC.

"I was terrified," Weathersby said. "I didn't believe in myself at all."

Weathersby was part of the pilot program for CCC2NAU in 2008. CCC2NAU is a partnership with Northern Arizona University that allows students to transition seamlessly from CCC to NAU. At her time with CCC, Weathersby said the staff and faculty were incredibly supportive of her and wanted to see her succeed.

She graduated in 2010 with an associate of arts degree in general studies. Right after her graduation from CCC, she began at NAU in the fall of 2010.

"I started out with psychology," Weathersby said.

She wanted to focus on pre-law with an eye toward starting her own law firm. A cousin told her that if she wanted to run her own law firm, she should have a background in business, especially contract law. She began taking business courses, too.

During the course of her college and university careers, Weathersby has accumulated a number of feathers for her cap. Among them are: President's Medallion Recipient at CCC; Student Worker of the Year at CCC; Student Employee of the Year for the State of Arizona; and Gold Axe Award Recipient at NAU. Her accomplishments include: Student Representative for the CCC Council; Vice President of Scholarship for Phi Theta Kappa; Vice President for Chapter Operations for Delta Sigma Pi; executive assistant for the Native American Business Organization. In addition she has participated in the Executive Job Shadow program with the Thunderbirds who host the WM Phoenix Open; and through a competitive selection process she met Warren Buffett on her visit to Omaha, Nebraska she learned how to increase her value through communication. Furthermore, Weathersby received a Bronze medal at the 2015 USA Snowboard & Freeski Association National Championships in the Master Women Slalom as part of the Grand Canyon Series.

Weathersby also traveled to China and India as part of her studies. In India, she along with 27 other students and faculty, visited a Tibetan Refugee Settlement camp as part of the Mainpat, Interdisciplinary Global Learning Project. In April, she participated in the Global Learning Symposium, where she gave a presentation on her study-abroad research.

Her father, Carl, couldn't attend her graduation. He passed away in 2012.

"His main thing was always, 'Just finish school,'" Weathersby said. "I know he would be proud of me."

Her mother, Geneice, is also proud. Weathersby said her mother also decided to go back to school and received her degree in public administration last May. She said she enjoyed going to Cline Library at NAU with her mom. They could study together and Weathersby could show her mom the ropes.

"It was pretty awesome," Weathersby said.

She worked the entire time she was in school, and she was recipient of a variety of scholarships to alleviate some of the burden of student debt after graduation.

A job lurks somewhere on the horizon.

"I keep hearing all I need is one," she said, laughing. She credits her support network at CCC and NAU for the networking opportunities.

The ultimate goal is to be a social justice attorney, but her current immediate future is to focus is on human resources positions because she likes people and advocating for them.

"I've been looking everywhere," Weathersby said. "I'm open to relocating because I know I can always come back home. But it's time to spread my wings, as scary as that is."

When she started her journey, she was terrified. That is no longer the case.

"I've learned to believe in myself," she said.

She added, "There's no way I'd be here without CCC. There's no way."

For more stories like this one about Coconino Community College, the students, faculty and programs, the college's community newsletter, the CCC Star, will be making its way to your mailbox soon.


Wednesday, 1st June 2016

All Dates

  • Wednesday, 1st June 2016