Alum puts power of experience into education


Coconino Community College alum Alicia Brown will graduate from Northern Arizona University in December after her experiences volunteering her services in Haiti after a severe earthquake.

Flagstaff, Ariz. -- Her experiences in Haiti fueled the fire to get busy on her education.

CCC alum Alicia Brown started taking classes in 2003. However, shortly after beginning her college education, life’s obstacles caused her to brake and take her foot of the accelerator.  

It was not until 2013 that Brown graduated from CCC with an Applied Associate’s degree. At the time, Brown was working full-time to pay for school and helping her sister who was having medical issues.

Brown spent a lot of her time volunteering at Restoration Bodyworks Physical Therapy. Her time and experiences here helped finalize her decision in wanting to become a physical therapist.

“I love being able to give people the tools to help themselves heal,” Brown said. “Being able to volunteer and practice physical therapy at the same time has helped me learn a lot.”

Up until May 2010, Brown attended a class or two every semester at CCC. It was her experience volunteering in Haiti with Restoration Bodyworks that strengthened her goal to pursue a career in physical therapy full time.

Brown had the opportunity to change lives that were affected by the earthquake that devastated Haiti in January 2010.

“You don’t realize how much poverty there is around the world until you see it,” Brown said.

The first day Brown was in Haiti, she noticed the tents they were working out of had electrical fires. The following days brought flooding.

“It was a life-changing experience, and it truly sealed the deal on my love for physical therapy,” Brown said. “The Haitians are a resilient people, and it was an honor to be of help through the tragedy.”

After her experiences in Haiti, Brown went to school full time at CCC before graduating in 2013. During her time here, she went through the CCC2NAU program and even received the Dennis M. Connell Scholarship.

When Brown experienced family challenges, several professors, including Tom Lehman and Aaron Tabor, were understanding and helped accommodate her schedule in order for her to do well in classes.

“I loved my time experience at CCC and wish that they had a bachelor’s program. I would have finished my undergraduate there,” Brown said. “The small class sizes, the affordability and the professors made for a better class experience.”

Today, Brown is finishing her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences at Northern Arizona University and is expected to graduate in December.

Brown hopes that one day she will own a physical therapy practice of her own. She has applied for an inclusive doctorate program at NAU in physical therapy and hopes to begin taking courses in 2018. 

-- Ben Molzhon


Tuesday, 15th November 2016

All Dates

  • Tuesday, 15th November 2016