Stories of Student Success

Each gift we receive impacts students' success and the opportunities we can offer to our students. See how gifts have given responsibility, encouragement and opportunities for students to grow and achieve their dreams, and hear see why donors have chosen to give and what they gained with their NWACC education.

Raul Najera

2014 NWACC Graduate, Associate Degree in Business

NWACC helped me reach my dreams through different ways. While I was at NWACC, I was involved with many different organizations that helped me make connections throughout the college. I served as a Senator with the Student Government Association, a Student Ambassador, a Presidential member of Sigma Alpha Pi National Society of Leadership and Success, a founding member of the ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals for America) Chapter at NWACC and a member of the Latin Culture Club.  I was also a participant of the very first LIFE summer program at NWACC and became a part-time mentor for area high school students. 

I also received financial assistance through scholarships that helped defray tuition costs, including the Schwyhart Endowed Scholarship, the Hudson Endowed Scholarship, the Bill Fleeman Memorial Scholarship and the Dreamers Scholarship. 

When I was at NWACC I was able to network and meet people in my classes, learn from staff and faculty mentors, and organize teams during student activities. This experience made a significant impact in my life, and my professional career. I currently lead a team of seven people, and to make sure my team is happy and performs well, I have been able to use several skills that I learned while I was at NWACC.

After receiving my associate degree from NWACC, I transferred to the University of Arkansas and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in International Business – Economics.  This led to a position with Santander Bank in Mexico City and then a return to Northwest Arkansas to work for JB Hunt as a freight broker.  I am now continuing my career with JB Hunt in Boston, and hope to one day pursue a Master of Business Administration degree.

NWACC is a great place to start your college career. Classes at NWACC are affordable, and there is a small number of students per class.

These two factors play a significant impact in your financial and educational life. The most important thing that I would tell the community about NWACC is that this college really cares about the students and they will provide as much help as they can.

Joy Suit

2018 NWACC Graduate, Associate Degree in Construction Technology

I earned an Associate Degree in Construction Technology in May 2018 and was among the 100 percent placement trend that NWACC’s Construction Technology Program boasts of thus far and among the nine percent of women currently in the construction field. 

Whenever I was in high school, they did not encourage women to do any of the technical jobs at all. My parents wanted me to be a nurse or a doctor, or do something that was kind of safe and a whole lot easier. My interest in construction actually started when I worked for a commerical flooring company. I absolutely fell in love with it - the industry, all of it! Watching things go from dirt to completed buildings and becoming habitant was amazing to me. So, I started in an office there and followed up and was like, ‘What can I do? I need more, I need more!’ and he [manager] was like, ‘You should go to school.’ So that’s kind of what started me on my path.

I decided to enroll in NWACC to fulfill my general education courses and then intended to transfer to a four-year institution, but when I heard of NWACC’s new Construction Technology program, plans changed.

Plus, I found NWACC’s tuition to be affordable, and the small classes and accessible faculty were the ideal learning environment.

Being a student at NWACC was fantastic for me. I, at a much older age, decided to go back to school and at the same time, learned that I had a learning disability. The teachers were super patient and calm; they took time with me. I could go in and talk to them and tell them when I was having problems and they really helped me excel. They want you to succeed here. I’ve been to bigger universities where you’re just kind of a face in the crowd and they don’t even know your name. I see my teachers now and they still know my name, which is amazing.

After earning my degree, I felt confident in my training in construction management, but I had some reservations on entering what tends to be portrayed as a male-dominated industry. I was afraid that coming into this industry there would be more challenges. But I have a ton of cheerleaders, people that want to see me succeed and really go out of their way to make sure that I’m getting the training and support that I need. The amount of money and time that I have invested into my education have more than paid off.