FHS senior receives certificates from CCC before graduation


Flagstaff High School senior Nevaeh Nez, 18, received certifications in Pre-Health Careers and Nursing Assistant from CCC a month before she graduates from high school.



FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Her mother and grandmother constantly told her education is important.


She took those words to heart.


Flagstaff High School senior Nevaeh Nez, 18, received two certifications from Coconino Community College on May 10 during Commencement. She was handed certificates in Pre-Health Careers and Nursing Assistant a month before she received her high school diploma.


“Education’s always been something important for me,” Nez said, adding that her mother raised her by herself, and she didn’t want her mother to worry about being able to afford an education for her.


So, she took steps and enrolled in the Coconino Association for Vocations, Industry and Technology (CAVIAT) program, which offers college credit through CCC at no cost. Her sister, Amber, five years older, had gone through CAVIAT.


“This has been that first step,” Nez said.


Her ultimate goal is to be an orthopedic surgeon. Although she is worried about funding her education to get to where she wants to go, she is undaunted. When she gets to college, there will be opportunities for scholarships and other sources of funding, and she’s already begun the process of applying.


“It’s better to go for it and worry about that when it comes,” Nez said. “… go big, or go home!”


Her immediate plans are to move to Minnesota with her sister, where her uncle lives, to work with the Lower Sioux Tribe in the health-services field. Being half Hopi and half Navajo, Nez said the move will offer her an opportunity to work in a Native American community closer to her dream school of the University of Minnesota, in Rochester, Minn.


She plans to make the move in June, and in the fall, she is planning to start her courses. She will also try to find work as a Certified Nursing Assistant while she attends university. Then, after that, it will be time for the next big step.


Born and raised in Flagstaff, she would like to make the move for another reason, she said.


“I want to show the people from Flagstaff and the reservation that you can always leave home,” Nez said. “You can always take your culture with you, wherever you go. And you can always come back.”


Nez also said that she likes to believe her story, and her family’s story, can help inspire others to consider the option of higher education.


“I just show what hard work looks like,” Nez said. “What I really want to show is it’s OK to live in two different worlds. I think it’s good to know both sides of the plate.”


When Nez graduates, she will be continuing a family tradition. Her mother received her GED and an associate degree from CCC. Her sister received a Nursing Assistant certification from CCC.


“I’ll be wearing the same cap and gown they wore when they graduated,” Nez said, smiling. “CCC has allowed my whole family to grow.”



Monday, 6th May 2019

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  • Monday, 6th May 2019