CCC student keeps focused to graduate in May


Coconino Community College student Delmy Payne sits in her home "classroom" with her daughters.



FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Before the COVID-19 outbreak, Coconino Community College student Delmy Payne was used to being busy.


She had to make every moment count to juggle her work, her children, and her classes at CCC.


That has changed now.


Work is all but gone, her children are now with her at home all the time and her calendar of classes and appointments has been cleared.


“It felt like life had been canceled,” Payne said.


Regardless of the dramatic change brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak, she’s determined to graduate with more than 300 others on May 8, 2020. She’s looking forward to her Associate of Applied Science in Graphic and Web Design.


“My goal is to finish this semester strong,” Payne said. “Right now, the future is uncertain, but I hope to get a job in graphic design after graduation, or to continue as assistant manager of FlagTagAZ when it is able to reopen.”


Payne said that initially, it was easy to give in to sleeping in, procrastinating on assignments and watching the news for the latest updates on the pandemic.


“I still struggle with these distractions most days, but I also do my best to get up, get some work done and go out for a walk,” Payne added.


What helps her with her motivation is to have daily strategies. On some days, when she has an assignment due, she focuses on that one thing. On other days, with nothing due right away, she picks the “easiest” assignment and work on that first. Still on other days, she chooses the most challenging class to work on.


“Sometimes, I give myself mental deadlines,” Payne said. “This helps so I know what I will work on next.”


She also has started listening to audio books, which, she said, helps her to be semi-productive and get out of her worries a bit.


“It feels more productive than just lying there, worrying about the future, or reading COVID-19 updates on my phone,” Payne said. “Talking to friends and family through texts, emails, telephone calls or video conferencing also helps me to connect with others, which helps keep me motivated with my goals.”


Payne said that finishing her semester online wasn’t something she had planned for.

“I miss going to CCC, seeing friends, classmates and everyone who is a part of the CCC community,” Payne said. “It’s tough to deal with the loss of plans and expectations and still be motivated.”


The end is rapidly nearing for the end of the semester.


“The future is uncertain,” Payne said. “But just for today, I can get up, get some work done and go out for a walk.”


Summer and fall registration are currently open at CCC. For more information, or to register, visit Advising assistance is also available virtually at



Tuesday, 21st April 2020

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  • Tuesday, 21st April 2020