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Alumni Stories

Athletes, artists, trade professionals, allied health professionals and teachers, our YC Alums move on to have successful careers, businesses and rich family lives. Learn more about our amazing alumni.

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Ariel Cunningham


Three days after returning to Prescott, Ariel – a twenty-year-old YC Performing Arts student – was notified that she was the newest member of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA). “It’s such an honor,” she says.

Read Ariel's story here

Jay Hosteen

Jay Hosteen

If you follow Leslie “Jay” Hosteen on social media, you might wish you could meet him in person, be his friend, join his extensive family and live, as he does, a simple yet magical life on the Navajo Reservation.

Read Jay's story here

Tracy Rogers

Jerri Blayne Soriano

In the span of 10 months, Tracy Rogers landed her dream job as clinical coordinator of the Yavapai College Radiology Technology program, was promoted to program director, won the equivalent of the college’s “teacher of the year” award and got married.

Read Tracy's story here

Jerri "Blayne" Soriano

Jerri Blayne Soriano

My favorite part about education at Yavapai College was the lifelong connection you made with both students and teachers. Living in a small community you get to revisit those connections on a peer level later in life.

Read Blaynes story here

Amanda Vivano & E.K. Breed


My favorite part about education at Yavapai College was the lifelong connection you made with both students and teachers. Living in a small community you get to revisit those connections on a peer level later in life.

Read Breeds Story here

Breeanya Hinkel

Breeanya Hinkel

My favorite part about education at Yavapai College was the lifelong connection you made with both students and teachers. Living in a small community you get to revisit those connections on a peer level later in life.

Read Breeanya's story here

Dylan Schoch


YC has given me all of the certifications and schooling I needed to be able to obtain an EMS career and make the most out of it. I then went on to become an EMS instructor to pay it forward for all newer generation of EMT and Paramedic students.

Read Dylan's story here

Robert Altmanshofer


After graduation, Robert began his new career in Yavapai Regional Medical Center’s Radiology Lab. “I have a great deal of empathy for patients coming through.” He said. As one who nearly died from a congenital bowel obstruction, he can honestly say, ‘I know how you feel.’ “I share a little of my story.”

Read Robert's story here

Amanda & EK


This inspired couple is on a mission to improve the standard of long-term care in rural Arizona. The pair of YC Nursing Program alumni are pursuing the mission separately – as nursing directors at care centers in the Verde Valley -- and together as a soon-to-be married couple with a shared passion for improving the lives of people dependent on nursing care.

Read their amazing story here

April Rhodes

April Rhodes

To say I am grateful for this opportunity is an understatement…. this is a real full-circle moment for me. When I started at YC almost 15 years ago, as a single mom of two young children, I never imagined what that would lead to.

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Michell Hacker

Laura Flecha

“It’s never too late and you’re never too old,” said Michell, a first-generation college student who shared her mid-life accomplishment in a comment on a YC social media post. “The window is open for everyone. There’s no time limit on what you want to do.”

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Kayla Jasek

Kayla Jasek

Kayla says she liked the EMT program because it gave her all the basics of EMS. She said all the instructors were great and helpful and that she met some incredible people she’s still friends with and now gets to see out in the field.

Read Kayla's story here

Kelsey Knight

Kelsey Knight

YC Automotive student Kelsey Knight is learning to repair cars before she can legally drive them. The 15-year-old earned her first ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) credential in the fall and is pursuing more training at YC's Career and Technical Education Center to advance her goal of becoming a master mechanic and opening a repair shop catering to women. Read about Kelsey's fascination with cars and her career dream HERE.

Read Kelsey's story here

Alexa Rodriguez


When Alexa Rodriguez walked across the stage this spring to receive a pin signaling she had succeeded in nursing school – the two women who inspired her to get there – were waiting to share her joy.

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Kaitlin Woytus

Kaitlin Woytus

A recipient of the Lady Aviator of the Day award, First Officer Kaitlin Woytus' interest in aviation was sparked by her grandfather who was a KC-135 pilot for the USAF and an active member of our local EAA chapter.

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Theresa Winn Lode

Theresa Lode

"I love, love, LOVE YC and am so grateful for the role it had in my life." - Theresa

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Heather Dodson

Heather Dodson

I am immensely grateful and unquestionably blessed that Yavapai College is where I chose to start my academic career over.

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LuAnn Lind

LuAnn Lind

"College Algebra teacher Jim Bostwick wrote a Letter of Recommendation that I still use to substantiate employment applications." - LuAnn

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Sara Ireland


Sarah Ireland, ICU Nurse, Making a Difference in our Community "I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it." – Maya Angelou. Sarah is clearly making a difference in our community and we are truly fortunate to have her.

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Carol Beard


YC helped me transition back to civilian life, both by getting my education underway and by learning how to work in a safe civilian environment.

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Neal Baltz

Neal Baltz

"He was so generous with his time and energy," friend and former classmate Lisa Russell said. Now Manager of the SWC's Tasting Room, Russell recalls how Neal put fellow students at ease.

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Look, after all we've experienced together, we don't want to lose touch with you

Alumnus, click here to easily update your information with YC

Kari Warne

Kari Warne

"Yavapai College has been absolutely unlike anything I ever expected." - Kari

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Derek Fernelius


He’s a Yavapai College Alumni, who completed all three years of the gunsmithing program, earning him an advanced gunsmithing certificate. In addition to gunsmithing, he completed 3 semesters of engraving, to receive his journeyman engraving certificate.

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Jennifer Bergstad


As a high school drop-out, and a teenage mom, college was never on my radar. I worked hard and had little time to do much of anything. As my kids got older, I realized that helping people was my passion, and my sister inspired me to pursue nursing.

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Britt Powitz


Writer of fanciful and musical children's books, trans fiction for teens, and science fiction for adults. Drummer and drum teacher in San Diego. Teacher of tiny humans. Avoider of pronouns. Cat charmer.

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Russ Rusing


Optimism and a can-do spirit characterized every facet of Russ Rusing's life, including Julie Ann's Bakery, the iconic Prescott landmark Russ and his wife, Rosemary, opened in 1961.

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Filmer Kewanyama

Nancy Ostapuk

Member of the Qalwungwa Clan, a YC alumnus and an award-winning artist teaching about the Hopi People

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Daniel and Valerie Wood


The education we received at Yavapai College; Viticulture & Enology program exceeded our expectations. We started taking VEN classes to learn a little more about the wine industry, and we were learning so much, we took all available classes. We appreciated the instructors and the students.

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Ashley Knister

Jessica Sullivan

"I knew I could [get the degree] because I could pay for it out of my own pocket," - Ashley

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Kari Warne


"I would not be where I am today without the support of the Yavapai College Foundation." - Kari

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Dr. Steven Crow


From an AAS at YC to an doctorate of education leadership from UC Davis and beyond

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Jessica Sullivan

Jessica Sullivan

"Jessica has made it her priority to serve the residents of the Arizona Pioneers' Home," said Governor Ducey.

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Laura Flecha

Laura Flecha

Published Author of The Ready Room shares an update with the YC Alumni Office

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Stephanie Purinton


First Certified Nurse Midwife in the Verde Valley, Board Certified Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner and Founder of Bella Vita Healthcare shares her story with YC

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Commencement 2021

Jessica Sullivan

YC students celebrate community college success during traditional commencement ceremonies

More about the commencement