Your educational journey is just beginning, and we’re here to help you stay on the path you’ve chosen. You have a team ready to help you achieve your educational goals beginning with our foster youth champions. These champions across the college are here to provide support in nearly all aspects of your college career.
We can help with:
- Figuring out a major
- How to fit your classes to your schedule
- Navigating FAFSA, verifying your ID and paying for college
- Where and how to get your high school transcripts
- Resources for health and well being
- Employment opportunities
- Mentoring, tutoring and technology resources
Our commitment to you
Your foster youth advocates focus on three main areas:
Helping you stay in school
We’re focused on creating supportive environments on our campuses. Staff members are dedicated to supporting students, so you can focus on your goals.
Completing your degree or certificate
Completing a degree or certificate leads to greater overall earning potential. You have the support you need to succeed in higher education, no matter what goals you have.
Transferring to a university
Going to a new school isn’t always easy. Not only do you gain the education and skills you need to transfer to a four-year school, you have the opportunity to connect with the staff from Arizona State University’s Bridging Success program. This connection supports a smooth transfer to the university.
Meet your champions. You can contact them all at email@example.com
Student Services Specialist
My name is Tammy Lespron-Dunagan, and I work in the Admissions and Records department here at CGCC. I have worked for MCCCD for more than 5 years and in higher education for more than 14 years. I am also the Employee Senator at CGCC for the Employee Senate. I am honored and delighted to be part of the unique work of such a special community of students. I love to think "outside of the box "to find solutions to move students towards their educational goals and always happy to help!
Laura has been a math tutor at CGCC since 2016. She is able to help students both in-person and online. She is here to help you get connected with herself or other tutors in math, science, writing and in other areas. She enjoys helping students succeed in their courses here at Chandler Gilbert.
My name is Arad and I am currently majoring in Biological Sciences. I am currently on a pre-med route and my career goal is to become a primary care physician. I plan on transferring to ASU or U of A to complete my last two years. I enjoy watching and playing soccer in my downtime and I journal.
Adjunct Counseling Faculty
Violet Nelson is an Arizona native with strong ties in Texas. Her family moved often due to financial instability. Leaning on people she knew helped to sustain a level of comfort. Opening up to strangers was a learned skill over time. However, when she added people to her circle of support, it allowed her to open up many more doors both personally and professionally. She attended Estrella, Glendale and Mesa Community College, then transferred to Arizona State University. At ASU she earned a Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies, Master of Counseling and Master of Education Curriculum and Instruction. She is an adjunct counselor at the Pecos campus. She helps students identify areas of interest to study, supports academic advocacy, new study skills patterns, personal/social support and or helps to find tangible community-based resources when needed. She has worked with foster youth during her high school years, as a high school counselor. She understands foster youth have unique needs and she would like to support them in any way she can. Something interesting about her is that she likes to hike and eat almost any kind of candy (yes while hiking), except black licorice - sorry.
Jasmen is a student at Arizona State University, studying social work. Some of her hobbies include playing bass guitar, painting, and drawing. Jasmen is interested in working with foster youth because she wants to work with other empathetic individuals who have a heart for serving and a passion for this group of students. "I have had the privilege of having the support I needed and would like to provide support in whatever way I can to students who may not have had the same experience." Jasmen has worked with children in a developmental manner as well as with patients in a Hospice center. Though she has just begun her journey at Chandler- Gilbert Community college, Jasmen hopes to grow professionally and personally through being a part of Champions.
Early Childhood & Teacher Education Faculty
Navigating the college system for the first time does not come easy to anyone, and Joni wants you to know that you are not alone in your journey. There are many people on your team who are ready and eager to help. As an education faculty member, Joni understands the importance of the teacher-student relationship, and she is here to listen and support.
Dr. Alisa Beyer
Finding balance while going to school, dealing with home life and work can be a challenge. Remaining true to yourself, staying connected to your values and pushing through challenging times can be difficult, but Alisa is here to help you connect with careers that match your values and long-term goals. Alisa also says reach out when you need support. You have a community here that wants you to be the best version of yourself.
Instructional services manager
Sonya is the person you want in your corner when you have technical issues! She is the Instructional Services Manager for the computer lab and makes things run! And because she knows technical issues can sometimes trip students up, her advice is “STOP! Don’t drop!” when things get rough. That includes learning remotely. As a former foster child herself, Sonya wants students to know “Don't give up because you have a team of people willing to help you through it.”
Program specialist, student life
One of the most important things you can do to be successful in college (after studying of course!) is to get involved and Ashley’s role at Student Life and Leadership on the Williams campus puts her in the path of activity! Ashley can connect you to engaging opportunities even in a virtual environment. But watch out - when she’s not helping students connect to all that CGCC offers, you can find Ashley high flying on the trapeze, running or just being outdoors.
As a former CGCC student, John knows that attending college can be a challenge for everyone, but don’t let financial issues get in the way. He advises students to contact him or any of the other champions to help guide you to resources available whether it’s financial aid or scholarships or basic needs. As the first in his family to graduate from college, he knows what it feels like to navigate the process without guidance so he is here to help you avoid the pitfalls he faced.
Adjunct business faculty
Margie has spent a lifetime mentoring and giving back, beginning when she was in college working with Operation Back to School to distribute school supplies to community members, Boys and Girls Clubs, etc. She knows that challenges can feel overwhelming at times, but she will connect students to resources, offer support and help students choose solutions that work for them. She also says students need to prioritize self-care, practice being kind to themselves and not get caught up comparing themselves to others.
Service learning & civic engagement program supervisor
Connecting people at the right times can be key to success. For Katie, working in Service-Learning and Civic Engagement means she gets to meet people all over the CGCC campus and in our community. And while she may not have all the answers, she can probably help you find someone who does. One key piece of advice she offers students is don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t worry that you might look like you don’t know what you are doing - everyone has been in that position before until someone helped them.
Early childhood and teacher education service-learning placement coordinator
Sarah can assist students with surveys for individual education placements, help obtain an IVP fingerprint card, initiate contact with mentor teachers, and assist with completing service-learning documents. She wants students to know they shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help. Students are facing a multitude of challenges in today’s world, but the CGCC team are here to help you succeed even if those challenges are for basic needs, food assistance or mental well-being.
Vice president, student affairs
Veronica helps connect students to services, to support and resources. As a vice president at CGCC, she can explain how things work and what to expect as well as help students navigate policies and procedures. Students are balancing a number of responsibilities including work, financial, family and school obligations. This can be stressful and worrisome. She wants students to know they are not alone. We can help them navigate challenges and connect them to help.
Admissions and Records
Cindi is here to help you navigate the admissions process, residency and transcripts. Her advice to students is to stay excited because the time at CGCC will be fun.
Associate vice president, community relations
Wondering how to transfer what you learned at CGCC to a four-year institution? Jenna has the expertise to help you on your next step in your educational journey. Navigating that change can be hard and so can planning for that future, but in Jenna’s role at the college, she has access to tools that can make it easier for you to do just that. “You don’t know what you don’t know so be open to learning and asking questions,” she said.
Senior student services specialist
Life as a child of a military veteran meant Kim moved often -- almost every other year -- when growing up. The realities of always being “the new kid” are very close to home for Kim. Because of that, Kim knows that disconnection can hinder your success and her goal is to make sure you connect to a CGCC community ready to offer resources, support and spirit as well as basic needs and support programs to help you in and out of class.
A member of the CGCC family since 2011, Jamie works with students on creating their career paths and meets with students to help with academic or personal issues, then connects them with campus resources. She advises students to get to know their instructors and communicate any issues or concerns early. Off campus, Jamie volunteers at the Arizona Museum of Natural History.
Having spent more than 20 years at CGCC, Ann has seen trends come and go. The shift to virtual or online classes is just one of those changes but her advice to students remains the same - let your instructor know if you are struggling. They want to see you succeed as well. And if you need resources outside the classroom to succeed, there are avenues of support open to you. We can work together to find solutions. You are not alone! Her quote is from Pope St. John XXIII: “Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but what is still possible for you to do.”
International student advisor
Helping international students navigate the American collegiate system can be just as daunting for the student as it can be for former foster children. But Kathleen is an expert at helping this process and can be your guide as well. Your success is her success so don’t hesitate to ask her any question about the process! Many parts of the systems used aren’t necessarily user-friendly and the acronyms used can confuse anyone new. But there is a support team in place, ready to help you make the most of your time here.
Student services analyst - Academic Advising
Christina is a passionate academic advisor, dedicated to providing career and academic advisement to a diverse population of students by providing a guided pathway towards success through joint collaboration, personalized and individualized advisement, and educational opportunities. Understanding each student’s goals for attending college is essential for both the student and the institution to be successful. With the added stress of the pandemic, challenges with financial hardship, and inability to connect directly with the appropriate resources, all which could lead to detrimental impacts on our students, now is the time to take the leap, ask for help, and be confident in your decisions.
Student service analyst, Early College
Don’t let one bad grade end your educational dream! Jasmine helps students get connected to resources on campus that can help them improve their grades, which in the long run helps them stay motivated and engaged. Her help starts when students are still in high school where she helps them navigate what path they want to take to their future. When she isn’t doing that, you can find Jasmine checking out the best coffee around especially small shops like Tres Leches Cafe or Lux Central. Bilingual: Spanish
Student services specialist
Financial aid can be one of the most daunting things about going to college, but Garrett can help you break down the process into manageable steps to make your educational journey easier. This is especially needed during this COVID-19 era. When he is not helping students navigate the financial aid process, you can find him navigating his way around a golf course, hopefully dealing with numbers a lot smaller than aid packages!
Program analyst, Student Rights and Responsibilities
Being willing to challenge yourself and stretch your limitations, understanding that the educational process can be hard means when you grasp the fruits of your labor it is worth it. Yvette says that sometimes meeting with a career advisor can help students identify their interests and what path they might take to achieve their goals. She wants students to know that the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities provides resources for the college community, including student education, care and self-advocacy.
Dr. Anne Suzuki
Dean, student development
As the Dean of Student Development, Anne leads the team that helps students get connected to resources on campus, tools that can help them balance, work, school, family and life. Anne suggests students get involved in campus life by connecting with fellow students, professors and staff. She lives this mantra too by always trying new things. When she isn’t at CGCC you can find her near the ocean or out walking. Please also contact her if you are interested in pursuing graduate, law, medical or dental (etc.) school and how to prepare for these programs.
Fiscal supervisor, Student Business Services
After fostering a child for three years, Julie immediately became his advocate and helped guide him through many challenges. She understands some of the unique challenges former foster children face. Because of that she is ready to help you navigate the challenges. She knows that facing these issues can be daunting and make you want to quit, but she is ready to help students face the challenges as a stepping stone to knowledge. I help champion our students by assisting them in navigating and understanding their financial responsibilities when it comes to paying for college.