TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - Pima Community College hosted its fifth annual Career and Technical Education Letter of Intent Signing Day on Thursday, Feb. 14.
The school said the event is to honor students entering a technical field at the college.
A record number of students from area high schools, as well as new students at PCC, signed their national college letters of intent, similar to a “signing day” for athletes, and don a PCC baseball cap.
One of those new students is Cynthia Akins.
“I used to go to Pima in 1994 and I started the automotive program,” she said. “I had to recover from a lot of car accidents and well, I had bouts with prescription drugs.”
Akins said her story proves a new life is possible for anyone.
"You can always push yourself up," she said. "I was laying in bed, crying because I hated my life and a voice came to me and said 'if you don’t like your life, do something and change it into a life that you do like.'"
David Diaz said the signing was as a big deal for him and his family.
“I felt so proud, it’s a good thing for my family,” he said. “My mom is super proud of me, I wouldn’t be here without her support, she’s the one who takes care of me for everything.”
Akins said going to college isn't something she did just for herself.
“I’m doing it for my kids, I’m doing it for everybody who doesn’t think that they can get up and move their life ahead,” she said.
Other students signing Thursday were:
Sunnyside High's Ricardo Lopez signed a letter of intent to enroll in the college’s engineering program. He plans to find work within the construction industry and transfer to the University of Arizona to pursue a degree in civil engineering.
Desert View High's Maria Villegas said she wants to design airplane parts, said she is committed to continuing her postsecondary education at Pima because she “will get a career-focused education and save money.”
This national event is one of many going on around the country and is conducted in conjunction with the National Coalition of Certification Centers. NC3 works with industry and education partners to promote and support industry-driven and industry-recognized certifications in numerous technical fields.