Sylvia Gibson epitomizes CAC success stories
(This story is one in an ongoing series of features on CAC's Wall of Success Inductees. The Wall of Success began in November of 2009 and has honored more than 50 CAC students since its inception.)
By Ashton Graham, CAC Intern
PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. - For one woman, Central Arizona College has been both a milestone in her education and has led her down her career path.
Sylvia Gibson gives advice with one strong and inspiring word - believe.
"As a first generation college student, I faced multiple hurdles in my decision to attend college and as I continued seeking a degree with CAC. Our students juggle so many roles and choices. When faced with challenges, I made a conscious choice to find a way to overcome them and reach my goals."
Gibson is an Arizonian - born and raised. She says she has stayed in Arizona to be surrounded by most of her family. She attended Santa Cruz High School in Eloy and decided to attend CAC during a campus visit of her junior year.
"As a first-generation college student, I was uninformed about higher education," she explained. "CAC was close to home and I knew I had a good chance of receiving the Academic Recognition Scholarship which would pay my tuition for four semesters."
Three years after she enrolled at CAC, Gibson graduated with her associate of arts degree in education in May 1987.
She went on to receive her bachelor of arts in elementary education from Ottawa University in June 1999 and then received her master of arts in English from Northern Arizona University in December 2003.
Her career at CAC began in 1985 when she took a job as the admissions secretary. Throughout the years she advanced to various positions and today she is the director of academic and quality programs.
Gibson said that although CAC has grown with additional locations and programs since she was a student, it continues to provide a caring and supportive environment for student success.
Today, Gibson takes pride in impacting the lives of students and giving back to her community.