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Introducing New Bear Scholars for Fall 2021

LaDayja - New Bear Scholar Jonelle - New Bear Scholar

The Phoenix College Alumni Association (PCAA) is pleased to welcome two new students into the PCAA Bear Scholars Program! These two deserving students were chosen for the program based on academic excellence, financial need, and leadership. Bear Scholars receive a scholarship for tuition (based on the students’ full- or part-time enrollment) each semester at Phoenix College, and are matched with an alumni mentor.

LaDayja Benford

LaDayja Benford is enrolled in PC’s dental hygiene program, and is concurrently enrolled at Northern Arizona University, with plans to graduate with both her associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in dental hygiene in May 2022.

“I chose dental hygiene because I recognize how much of a difference a healthy smile can change a person’s perception of themselves. After completing the dental hygiene program at Phoenix College, I plan to continue my studies in dental school with hopes of pursuing a degree in orthodontics. I am grateful that you all have put your trust in me, and I am truly humbled to be chosen as a recipient of this Bear Scholarship. It will relieve some of my financial obstacles so that I can continue to be successful in my program as well as allow me to purchase required dental instruments.” - LaDayja

Jonelle Mueller

Jonelle Mueller has faced several setbacks related to the pandemic, including losing her job working in an assisted living facility, contracting COVID-19 herself, and the subsequent mental and emotional trials. She is pursuing a paralegal degree at Phoenix College with plans to eventually open up her own legal services practice in the Valley.

“I am passionate about legal reform for the mentally ill and make every effort to bring about awareness and change to that cause. My goals are to graduate with honors in the spring of 2022 with an AAS in Paralegal Studies and successfully become a licensed Legal Paraprofessional [Limited License Legal Provider (LLLP)]. I hope to work in criminal defense and forensic science. Ultimately, I aim to co-own my own Legal Paraprofessional law firm in Maricopa County, AZ providing legal services to those who, until recently, would have been unable to receive quality legal services. This scholarship will afford me the freedom to achieve these goals.” – Jonelle

Continuing Bear Scholars are Angelica Larraga (Paralegal Studies), Jose Pina Mora (Medical Studies), and Dessey Hoernig (Nursing). Click on their names to hear their stories.

To learn more about the Phoenix College Alumni Association and how you can make a significant impact to the Bear Scholarship Program (through mentorship and/or financial gifts), please contact

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