Sue OwensFlagstaff, Ariz. - Sue Owens considers herself on a voyage.

After her husband died in 2010, her son encouraged her to go to college.

"I was lost after my husband passed away and needed to get a job, but I hadn't worked in a while," Owens said.


"My son is the one who said, 'Mom, you've always wanted to go school. Why don't you?'"


Coconino Community College was her first step.


"My life has always been an adventure, but I thought, 'I can't go back at my age,'" Owens said. A few more encouraging words and she found her first step, Enrolling at Coconino Community College.


"I have loved my time here. I've liked all my instructors and was so fortunate to have great advisors," she said.


On Friday, May 9, Owens will deliver the Student Address at the CCC Commencement ceremony at 5 p.m. at the Lone Tree campus, 2800 S. Lone Tree Road. About 120 graduates are expected to participate in the ceremony. It can be streamed live on the College's website:


At CCC, Owens became involved first with the Volunteer Club and later was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. She joined the TRiO program where the tutoring and study skills workshops helped her maintain her 3.9 grade point average.

Owens is graduating with her associate degree in general studies, with plans to study anthropology and museum studies at Northern Arizona University.


She sees herself eventually working in a museum, where she can spur the interest or learning of others.


"I want people to not only learn, but also enjoy," she said.


Nowadays, when her young granddaughter asks her, "Why do you go to school? You don't have to."


Owens answers, "Education is for everyone. It makes you a better human being. The sky's the limit. This is my journey."

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