CCC Adult Education students win awards

Students in the Coconino Community College Adult Education courses celebrated winning awards from a statewide contest during Adult Literacy Week.


Flagstaff, Ariz. -- They come from all over the world – the United States, Mexico, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Belarus, India, Venezuela, Peru, China, Ukraine, Thailand, Columbia and Kuwait.


But, now in Flagstaff, they are joined in the common cause of learning English through the Coconino Community College Adult Education program, and that will to learn has paid off.


Four of the students won awards from a statewide contest during Adult Literacy Week. And, on Thursday, March 9, CCC’s Adult Education students showcased the submissions they made to the annual Arizona Adult Literacy Week Contest.


“It’s an annual event celebrating adult literacy,” said Debra Goldenstein, CCC Adult Education English Language Instructor.


The contest featured adult learners statewide who were invited to participate and to create digital media-based projects (presentations, newsletters, essays or art) on a variety of topics that included: Advocating for a Better World, Advocating for Public Libraries, and Advocating for College and Career Readiness. Several students from CCC’s English Language Acquisition for Adults classes submitted projects.


“There were a few I thought, ‘Wow, these are really good,’” Goldenstein said. “It makes me excited and proud for them.”


Four CCC students were chosen out of entries from around the state to receive awards:

- Monserrat Bello, for her graphic advocating for college and career readiness, called “Crossing the Bridge.”
- Blanca Ponce, for her digital newsletter advocating for a better world, called “Our Opinion to Make the World a Better Place.”
- Lidiia Ozerova, for her essay advocating for a better world, called “Serving Can Bring Joy.”
- Maria Hampton, for her essay advocating for career and college readiness, called “Pursuing Your Dream.”


The award ceremony took place in Phoenix and was broadcast live at the Fourth Street Campus. After the award ceremony, students who participated in the contest presented their projects over lunch.


Hampton read her essay to the dozen students present. Her essay focused on keeping adversity from stopping people from pursuing their dreams. Hampton’s dream is to get better at English, so she can go to college and take business courses. Her ultimate dream is to own her own business. She currently has a patent idea under review for a “Hands-Free Pet-Walking Device.”


In her essay, she wrote: “Sometimes, circumstances or people will tell you, ‘It is impossible,’ ‘You are not good enough for that,’ ‘You are too old,’ ‘You don’t have the talent,” or ‘the money,’ etc. And that’s not true. You have to sacrifice and work hard for it. Don’t let your dreams die!”


She also wrote, “If I don’t fight, no one else will. This has made me realize that you are never going to know your potential until you step out and take risks.”


After each of the students made a presentation, often filled with emotion and gratitude to Goldenstein, the other students clapped, hugged and showed support to their classmates.


The mission of the CCC Adult Education program is “to provide educational opportunities and support that improve the lives of our students and open doors to post-secondary education and careers.” In adhering to that mission, Goldenstein said that she brought the idea for the contest to all her students. They discussed the concepts and the requirements for a submission. Then, they picked a topic and picked a type of presentation. The students shared their ideas with the class, and they honed their ideas – with peer revisions and multiple edits – into solid projects they could submit to the contest.


Of her win, Hampton said, “It means a lot because hope is important. I feel that way and want to help others. I’ve learned from my failures. I think failure makes you be stronger. Just don’t give up.”


Co-sponsors and partners for the Arizona Adult Literacy Week Contest include Arizona Adult Education Service, Arizona Association for Lifelong Learning and Arizona State Library.


If you know of anybody who could benefit from the English classes offered at CCC, contact Goldenstein at 928-526-7622, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or stop by the classroom, C2, at the Fourth Street campus. For more information about Adult Education at CCC, visit

Tuesday, 28th March 2017
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All Dates

  • Tuesday, 28th March 2017