CCC student thrives at Victim Witness Services internship


Flagstaff, Ariz. – It was a tough house call to make – she had to notify a family that their loved one had died.


“You have to focus more on the people than on what actually happened,” said Azurrae Martinez. “You have to be there to help them.”


Martinez recently finished an internship with Victim Witness Services for Coconino County, and she continues to volunteer for the organization. She will be graduating from CCC this month with an associate degree in Sociology. After that, she will be off to Northern Arizona University to complete her studies for a bachelor’s degree in Sociology.


“I actually started off with psychology,” Martinez said. “To focus more on the brain.”


But a friend let her look through a sociology book, and that prompted her to take a sociology class with Myra Ferell-Womochil, who is the former Chief Executive Officer of Victim Witness Services.


“And I found out that I wanted to learn more about people and why the do what they do, dress the way they dress, talk the way they talk,” Martinez said, adding that she changed her major to sociology. “There are so many people in the world and everybody is so different.”


Although she didn’t quite make the age requirement of 21 to help with Victim Witness Services, she was accepted, in part, because of her ability to communicate well with others.


Melissa Skeet, Mobile Advocacy Program Manager at Victim Witness Services, said that Martinez’s duties included entering intakes from crisis calls to disperse to victim advocates; entering referrals; helping with fundraisers and campaigns, working with victims of crime; and working with the NAU Survivors Alliance Club.


“Azurrae’s future is extremely bright, and I know she will go far with her career,” Skeet said. “At a young age, she has shown the dedication, commitment, hard work, passion and energetic performance that fits very well within our agency.”


CCC Sociology Instructor Linda Barker said she knew Martinez would be a great fit for Victim Witness Services because she carries two of the College’s core missions close to her learning and heart – people and community.


“When assessing her work in the classroom and then talking with her about the internship opportunity, I saw she showed spirit and a goal of service and learning, a way to really apply what she has learned in the classroom to a community partner in a goal to increase her understanding of how society and the individual related in varied environments,” Barker said. “Her success is one that I am proud to have any connection with and will continue to support Azurrae long after she graduates from CCC.”


Barker added, “She is part of the fabric of student success here at CCC, and I am sure that will continue as she continues her academic and professional endeavors within Coconino County.”


Martinez said that during her internship she became interested in the victim side of crime, which is seldom heard about. She served as part of the mobile response team to go out into the community to provide advocacy services.


The internship, a continual learning process on how to better serve people, was an eye opener for her – crime and the effects.


“In general, people don’t really realize these things go on,” Martinez said, adding that she’s considering the field of crisis response as a career after college.


After she graduates, she said she will miss her time at CCC.


It’s been really good,” Martinez said. “I don’t want to leave.”


She also said she is worried about bigger classes at NAU because she’s gotten used to the smaller classes and the easy access to the instructors. She admires the instructors’ passion with teaching.


“I’ve had a really good run here,” she said. “They all go above and beyond when you need it.”



Monday, 4th December 2017

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  • Monday, 4th December 2017