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Student Success Stories

Profiles of Success

  • Ninoshka Gamez

    GateWay Student Finds Clear Vision for the Future with Ophthalmic Certification

    For many students, the transition between high school to university can present tremendous challenges. For Ninoshka Gamez, that was no exception. An extraordinarily gifted student, Gamez initially struggled...

  • Heather Dohm

    Tragedy Gives Student Strength to Continue

    Heather Dohm believed she knew what she wanted to do with her life. After obtaining her cosmetology license in high school, she began a career in aesthetics. But, after a few short years in the industry, she realized her priorities had changed...

  • Ann James

    GateWay Fosters New Career Path for Single Mother

    As a child growing up in foster care, Ann James shuffled around from family to family. Although the families did what they could to help, she never truly felt at home and grew up feeling alone and isolated. Determined to grow from her...

  • Sakariya Mohamud

    GateWay Early College High Student Seizes Opportunity, Earns Full-Ride to Princeton

    For many students, the idea of switching high schools can be scary. For Sakariya Mohamud, this was no exception as he started GateWay Early College High School his sophomore year. "I dreaded...

  • Lola Jones

    GateWay Student ReCareers to Make a Difference for Others

    Originally studying Marine Biology at Northern Arizona University, Lola Jones was adrift. She began to feel like her major wasn’t the right fit for her. After conversations with family and endless research, she decided to embark...

  • Cheyenne Waters

    Loss Leads GateWay Grad to Greater Purpose

    Before beginning the Nuclear Medicine Technology program at GateWay, Cheyenne Waters' life was in turmoil. She had recently lost her husband and was unsure of her future. After a bit of research, she stumbled upon the Nuclear Medicine...

  • Alycia Simons

    GateWay Grad Sails into High-Demand Healthcare Career

    After serving five years in the Navy, Alycia Simons was focused on finding a new career. She was determined to work in the healthcare industry and after a bit of research discovered the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program at...

  • Wah Wah Diamond

    First-Generation GateWay Student Turns Challenging Past into Brighter Future

    For many first-generation students, attending college has its challenges. But for Wah Wah Diamond, those challenges paled in comparison to his life before finding GateWay.

    Growing up in Burma, he was...

  • Katie Lotson

    GateWay Grad Overcomes Hardships, Looks Forward to Making a Difference

    Katie Lotson has always enjoyed helping others. Prior to joining the Respiratory Therapy program at GateWay, she was a Military Police Soldier in the Army National Guard. After having her first two children, she made...

  • Stacey Martinez

    Respiratory Care Graduate’s New Field Hits Close to Home

    When Stacey Martinez enrolled in the Respiratory Care program at GateWay Community College, she knew she was ready for a career change and was passionate about the field she was entering. But that passion increased tenfold as she...

  • Lisa Whitlock

    GateWay Helps Mother of Three Turn Dreams Into Reality

    As a wife and mother to three young children, Lisa Whitlock has a million things on her to-do list. She had dreamed of becoming a nurse but her responsibilities put her career on hold. Determined to turn her vision into reality, she...

  • Luis Rojas

    Pandemic Paves New Pathway for GateWay Nursing Student

    A career in nursing had always been a dream for Luis Rojas. Unfortunately, the program cost and timing restrictions led him to pursue a degree in business instead. For many years, Rojas had a rewarding, growing career in public...

  • Jennifer Blake

    Jennifer Blake Named to 2021 All-Arizona Academic Team

    GateWay Community College student, Jennifer Blake is the latest to make the All-Arizona Academic Team for 2021. The prestigious award provides tuition scholarships to exceptional Arizona Community College transfer students.


  • Miranda Yost

    Prior to attending GateWay Community College, Miranda Yost was on a very different trajectory. Having received her associate degree in dance, she performed ballet and modern dance professionally for 15 years. After a severe injury, Yost found herself struggling to figure out what to do next....

  • Danitza Hernandez

    GateWay Student Overcomes Obstacles to Help Others in Future Career

    As a phlebotomist working at Banner University Medical Center, Danitza Hernandez was used to working with patients in the healthcare field. But, after spending days in the trauma rooms, she became motivated to expand...

  • Sarah Duncklee

    Tragedy Leads to Opportunity for Duncklee

    Sarah Duncklee knew at a young age that there was more to life than her small hometown of Kearney, Ariz. After tragedy struck during her sophomore year of high school, she was catapulted into “the big city” of Phoenix. While it was an adjustment...

  • Suri Zebadua

    First-Gen Student Charts New Path

    As a first-generation Hispanic student, Suri Zebadua always wanted to further her education. Being the first one in her family to go to college, she never felt pressured to attend, but wanted to do it for her own future aspirations. 

    As she...

  • Amanda Little

    GateWay Cooks Up New Career Path During Pandemic

    When Amanda Little lost her job as a cook at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, she knew she needed a career with a better future and less uncertainty. 

    After exploring opportunities and realizing how cost-effective GateWay...

  • Mario Hernandez

    From Banking to Healthcare, GateWay Grad Finds New Passion as a Radiologic Technician

    Prior to beginning his career in the medical field, Mario Hernandez spent a large part of his life working in the banking and mortgage industry. After realizing he wanted to make a difference in the...

  • Kim Lavine

    Massage Therapy Provides New Purpose for GateWay Grad

    Before Kim Lavine began at GateWay, she was working in a high stress, customer service call center. After years of constantly feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, she made the decision to quit her job and begin a new career she was...

  • Jesus Serrato

    From Poverty to Promise, GateWay Student Builds a Future

    As a child growing up in poverty, Jesus Serrato knew he always needed to work hard to get ahead. Being raised by a single mother, his family faced challenges to make ends meet. It was through this experience that he placed a high...

  • Eva Rivera

    Gateway Student Proves You Are Never Too Old to Go Back to School

    Eva Rivera spent 36 years of her life working as a physical therapist assistant in New Jersey. As a single mother, she worked 50 hours a week to ensure her three children could live a comfortable life. It wasn’t until her...

  • Clarissa Kubat

    GateWay Student Discovers Love for Learning During Difficult Times

    To say 2020 was rough is an understatement. However, GateWay student Clarissa Kubat found the support she needed to stay resilient from the faculty and staff at the college. She says they helped  her feel less alone...

  • Adrianne Gelhaar

    GateWay Early College High School Helps Student Finish Ahead

    Teens entering high school typically are not thinking about earning a college degree before graduating high school. Adrianne Gelhaar fell into that category, too, but now she is close to finishing a college degree. 


  • Kendra Jimenez

    Soccer Scholarship Puts Jimenez on Road to Healthcare Career

    Kendra Jimenez always knew she wanted to work in a team. During her adolescence, she played soccer and was a part of her high school sports medicine team. And she continued to play the game in college.

    It was a soccer...

  • Violeta Zepeda

    Medical Billing & Coding Program Proves to be a Fresh Start for One Student

    After several years of being a stay-at-home mom, Violeta Zepeda was ready for a fresh start. Having previously worked as a medical assistant, she was eager to begin a new career in the healthcare industry. “...

  • Ifrah Botan

    Future RN Plans to Make a Global Impact

    As Ifrah Botan surveyed her options for college, she knew she wanted to find a college, and a program, that aligned with her ambitions and her dreams.

    “I decided to attend GateWay because it offers one of the best nursing programs in...

  • Jerrick Tupas

    GateWay Student Recipient of Lambda Beta Society NBRC/Hill Leadership Award

    To say that Jerrick Tupas is an exemplary student would be an understatement. Currently enrolled at GateWay Community College, he has entered into his final semester in the Respiratory Care Program, while being...

  • Shukri Muhidin

    First Generation Student Perseveres

    Shukri Muhidin knows about overcoming adversity. She arrived in the U.S. five years ago without understanding a word of English, but she was dedicated and up for the challenge. During her time in high school, she spent four hours a day taking English...

  • Celeste Bonito-Nash

    Celebrate Native American Heritage Month

    Q) What does Native American Heritage Month mean to you?

    I love that Indigenous People are acknowledged as being here, living and thriving. Giving us a month for awareness means that we are being recognized. We,...

  • Cecilia Sheridan

    Student Gains Strength and Resiliency Through Surgical Technology Program

    Before Cecilia Sheridan arrived at GateWay, her life was filled with experiences from her extensive international travels. Taking advantage of those opportunities, she developed an appreciation for everyone and...

  • Anisa Afkhami

    GateWay Student Looks to Inspire the Next Generation of Leaders

    Initially enrolled at Mesa Community College for Business Entrepreneurship, Anisa Afkhami dreamed of a role in leadership, hoping to one day inspire the next generation of leaders. At the time, she never thought about...

  • Lisa Johnson

    GateWay Student Captions Her Way to A National Scholarship

    Lisa Johnson was at a crossroads. Having taken time off from her education to start a family, she was finally ready to make a career decision.     

    One day, Johnson unexpectedly came across the Court Reporting Program, “I...

  • Sarah Moreno

    Medical Assisting Program Offers New Path Into Healthcare for GateWay Student

    When Sarah Moreno had to put nursing school on pause, she knew that wasn’t where her journey into the healthcare field would stop. Knowing her passion was to eventually become a nurse, she saw the Medical...

  • Joane Hull

    GateWay Student Chooses a Field to Work From Home

    As a stay at home mom, Joane Hull, selflessly put her daughters and family first. It wasn’t until she became an empty nester that circumstances led her to pursue a career in Medical Billing and Coding. Joane recalls, “An acquaintance of...

  • Veronica Fielder

    Recent GateWay Alumnus Changes Course to Follow Her Passion

    As Veronica Fielder was working on completing her Associate Degree in Business, she suddenly had a change of heart and realized she wasn’t following her passion. She knew she loved the medical field, and after her family moved...

  • Jedediah Timmerman

    U.S. Army Veteran Returns to School, Hopes to Keep Workers Safe on the Job

    “Fear and self-doubt.” That was the response given by GateWay student Jedediah Timmerman when asked what challenges he faced upon returning to college after years away.

    Timmerman, a U.S. Army Veteran,...

  • Feza Mto

    From Refugee Camp to Pre-Med – GateWay Student Perseveres

    Aspirations of becoming a doctor aren’t all that rare among college students. The reasons for those aspirations, though, can vary widely. And for GateWay student Feza Mto, her reasons are inherently personal and unique.


  • Amy Ross

    GateWay Student Proves It Is Never Too Late

    ‘It’s never too late to learn something new" should be Amy Ross’s motto. After a 30-year hiatus from taking courses [or attending school], she is back in the classroom. 

    She took a slight detour at a young age, due to influential adults...

  • Oliver Martinez

    EXCEL Program Scholar

    When Oliver Martinez came to GateWay Community College, his original focus was to play soccer. But he soon realized there could be more to his college experience after hearing about the EXCEL program and the services it offered. 

    “My girlfriend at the time...

  • Luis Callejas

    EXCEL Program Scholar

    Before Luis Callejas attended GateWay Community College, he never put much effort into his schoolwork. While attending High School, Callejas struggled to pass classes and graduated with a 2.3 GPA. Even though his grades were lower than he would have liked, Luis...