What a wonderful week this has been for students and their families and our staff at the East Valley Institute of Technology! Over 1,400 of our program completers participated in this year’s Completion Ceremony at Tempe Diablo Stadium — and stadium officials estimated a record standing-room-only crowd of 12,000 filled the stands and the berms! The manager said the stadium never even draws that many people during spring training.
The Class of 2018 won over $4.43 million in college scholarships this year, and nearly all of them have already earned or anticipate earning an industry credential in their chosen field. In addition, hundreds of our students have already been hired or offered employment.
We celebrated the many accomplishments of individual students, including our EVIT Students of the Year — Katherine Danko, a home-schooled Fashion Design student from Fountain Hills, and Bree Klaus, a Mesa Nursing Assistant student from Gilbert’s Desert Ridge High School.
Katherine won state and national gold medals in fashion design, sewed dressses for girls all over the world and earned a President’s Scholarship to Arizona State.
Bree served as class president and worked five nights a week for a home health agency caring for a home-bound patient, even as she went to school full-time and completed the Nursing Assistant program. Bree was awarded a President’s Scholarship to Grand Canyon University.
Both students maintained 4.0 GPAs at EVIT.
We recognized the achievements of several other students too, including adult student Maritza Loya of Mesa.
Maritza was caring for her young siblings and working full-time this year while also training at EVIT to be a medical assistant. Her job often included graveyard shifts that ended at 3 a.m. — so Maritza would drive to the EVIT Main Campus after that and sleep in her car until the health building opened at 6:30. And she did all of this while maintaining a 4.0 GPA.
We honored EVIT board president Carolyn Crandell, whose husband, Dr. Keith Crandell was so instrumental in the establishment of EVIT. And, we recognized Francis Tesmer, CEO of Rolf’s Salon, which awarded over $900,000 in scholarships to Cosmetology students.
We also presented an honorary HVAC completion certificate to the Mesa family of Mountain View student Richard Mize, who passed away earlier this year. Rick’s mother spoke about his love for EVIT and the HVAC industry, and she announced the family’s plans to establish a scholarship for EVIT students.
And of course, the best part of the evening was when the students received their program completion certificates and were congratulated as our future workforce.