First-year student finds his path at CCC

Date: Thursday, 21st April 2022

Horizon Gillson studying for classes in the Lone Tree Commons. 


FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – He wants to apply himself to something bigger.


Horizon Gillson, a freshman at Coconino Community College, plans to get his associates at CCC and then transfer to Northern Arizona University. He hopes to get his bachelor’s degree in Physics and is considering a minor in Disability Studies. 


Gillson finished high school in Gallup, New Mexico, and decided to give CCC a shot to “see if I was cut out for this,” Gillson said, adding that everything is going well with classes and that CCC has helped him figure out where “I want to go and where I want to be.”


Gillson chose CCC to continue his education because of the affordability, how close it is to home, and CCC’s relationship with NAU. He plans to join the CCC2NAU program next semester, which helps students save money while reaching their educational goals both at CCC and NAU. 


Gillson’s family have always been strong supporters of him continuing his education. His brother currently is a student at Arizona State University and his sister goes to Northern Arizona University. 


Gillson said that his parents are also “extremely high role models for him.” His father, who was a lawyer and one of the first native American judges in New Mexico, passed away last year. It has been a hard time for the family, Gillson said, but they have persevered. 


His mom and his dad have always “emphasized education for their children,” Gillson said, adding that his mom had a lot of faith in him to get out here and pushed him to do something with his life.


“I look up to my siblings as role models and my parents because they have been through so much and just seeing them get through that, get through school, and getting through the passing of a father, husband, brother, it’s hard,” Gillson said. 


Gillson wants to apply himself to something bigger in life as a physicist, working on projects that “shouldn’t be possible but are somehow.” 


For more information about what degrees and certificates CCC has to offer, visit  


Story and photo by Courtney Maxwell

CCC PR and Marketing Intern



All Dates

  • Thursday, 21st April 2022