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Two Phoenix College Students Named to All-Arizona Academic Team

February 24, 2014

On February 19, 2014, two Phoenix College students were recognized for their academic achievements and their service to Phoenix College and the community. Sarah Hernandez and Kibreab Solomon joined honorees from other Arizona community colleges at a luncheon honoring them as members of the 2014 All-Arizona Academic Team. This distinction recognizes two students from each community college campus as the top students in the state. Each honoree receives scholarships, as well as a tuition waiver to be used at the Arizona state university of their choice.

Teams are divided into first, second, and third place, with awards of $1000 to those named to the first team, $750 for the second team, and $500 for the third team. Kibreab Solomon was named to the First Team, while Sarah Hernandez was named to the Second Team.

Currently, there are 32 states that participate in All-State Academic Team programs, which are co-sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa, presidents of two-year colleges, and community college state associations. The program, which began in Arizona in 1990s, recognizes top scholars at community colleges who are also members of the local chapters of the Phi Theta Kappa Society, the national community college honors organization.

Solomon has overcome many hurdles on his path to academic success. A political refugee from Eritrea, one of Solomon’s goals was to receive an education. “Since I was younger, I could see that education was important,” said Solomon. “I had a dream that one day I would graduate from university.” Solomon, who also received the coveted Diane H. Thomas Scholarship, will be attending Arizona State University to study accounting and computer information systems.  

From her role as a Phoenix College Ambassador to her designation as a PC STEM Scholar, Hernandez has left her mark on the Phoenix College campus. But she also hopes to leave a lasting impact on her community as well, “I want to show [my community] that it does not matter where you come from, as long as you have the work ethic and heart, you can turn your dreams into a reality,” she said, recognizing that higher education hasn’t been an attainable goal for many of those in her low-income neighborhood. Upon graduation from Phoenix College, Hernandez will attend the University of Arizona, where she plans to study biology. Her ultimate goal is to become a pharmacist.

“Sarah and Kibreab are great examples of the character and commitment of students at Phoenix College,” said Dr. Solley, president of Phoenix College. “Both have showed dedication to their studies and the campus, and will both go on to do great things for their community.”