PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. – Central Arizona College Aravaipa Campus student Lorena Villanueva (San Manuel/San Manuel HS) is one of 20 two-year college students nationwide that have been named to the 24th annual All-USA Community College Academic Team. The award honors Villanueva for her outstanding intellectual achievement and leadership, and she will receive a $2,500 scholarship, furnished by Follett Higher Education Group.
An active volunteer in kindergarten classrooms in the town of Oracle, Villanueva was originally selected to the All-Arizona Academic First Team, boasting a 3.81 grade point average as a biology major.
The native of San Manuel is involved in CAC’s Student Leadership Organization and is an active member of Phi Theta Kappa. In the spring of 2013, she earned recognition as the Aravaipa Campus’s Most Outstanding Student for the 2012-2013 academic year.
A graduate of San Manuel High School, Villanueva plans to transfer to the University of Arizona with the intention of becoming an occupational therapist.
“We are truly proud of Lorena for receiving this very prestigious award,” said CAC President Dr. Doris Helmich. “It is our belief that Central Arizona College produces some of the best scholars and leaders in the state and in the nation. All of Lorena’s hard work obviously has put her in that category.”
The All-USA program is widely recognized as the most prestigious academic honor for students attending community college. Nominees are hand-selected by colleges for showing intellectual rigor and for demonstrating academic, leadership and civic growth. The program also recognizes students who extend their community college education to better themselves, their schools and their surrounding communities.
“As college costs continue to climb, community college becomes a vital channel to access the baccalaureate degree,” said Phi Theta Kappa’s Executive Director and CEO Dr. Rod Risley. “Programs like these promote college completion by providing opportunities and raising awareness of the need.”
The 2014 All-USA Community College Academic Team is sponsored by Follett Higher Education Group and presented by USA TODAY. Additional support is provided by Phi Theta Kappa and the American Association of Community Colleges.
“Community colleges provide students a high quality, affordable education,” said Don Germano, President of Follett Higher Education Group. “All of us at Follett are so pleased to recognize and support these outstanding students – driven, brilliant students on a path to be our future leaders.”
Student winners were introduced at the Phi Theta Kappa Presidents Breakfast held during the recent AACC Convention in Washington, D.C. In addition to scholarship funds, each ALL-USA Community College Academic Team member was presented with a special medallion. College presidents of team members also received recognition for their leadership. In addition, Follett Higher Education Group presented an additional $25,000 in textbook scholarships to the colleges with students selected to the All-USA Academic Team. The five scholarships of $250 each, a total of $1,250, may be distributed at the colleges’ discretion.