CCA is an accredited community college with campuses in Aurora and Denver Colorado

Alumni Success

Josh Coe

Title: 
Systems/Hardware Engineer
Company/Organization: 
Raytheon Company

Josh CoeJosh attended CCA with the same intention as many of our students – to transfer to a 4-year university. In Josh’s case, it was the University of Colorado at Denver’s electrical engineering program. The difference for Josh was that he was going back to school after serving 4 years in the US Navy.

“It had been a long time since I had been a serious student,” Josh says. “I appreciate my time at CCA -- it enabled me to learn how to be a successful student.”

While at CCA, he studied math, science and took care of his gen-ed classes. His planning worked, and Josh graduated from UCD in 2013 with his Bachelor of Science as a member of Tau Beta Pi (the oldest engineering honor society.)

“During those 10 years at CCA and UCD, I always worked full-time, and I averaged two classes per semester including most summer semesters.” Josh deserves a lot of credit for his hard work and dedication, but he gives some back to CCA, “It would have been much more difficult for me to succeed had I not decided to restart my education at a community college” he says.

Now Josh is successfully working in his field as a Systems/Hardware Engineer at Raytheon Company. He has been working there for the past six years.

 

Gary Wilson

Title: 
Sheriff of Denver
Company/Organization: 
Denver Sheriff Department

Gary WilsonDenver Sheriff Gary Wilson didn’t let circumstances derail him when he was forced to leave a four-year college in Nebraska due to finances. Instead, he fulfilled a promise to his mother by years later returning to school and finishing his Associate of Arts degree at Community College of Aurora in 1996.

Many future academic experiences would fill Wilson’s busy life. But even today, his time at CCA stands out 
as a life marker and academic milestone.

“I think it’s important to get a shovel in the ground,” Wilson explained. “You’ve got to start digging somewhere, and Community College of Aurora is a great place to do that. And don’t stop digging until you hit gold. I think getting the shovel in the ground at CCA is kind of the reason I’m where I am today. … Out of all of my degrees that one seems to be really important to me, because it was my first accomplishment at college where I proved I could do it.”

 

Daithan Kitchens

Title: 
Project Lead / Owner & Photographer
Company/Organization: 
Xcel Energy / KIDA Photography

Daithan Kitchens

Daithan studied business while at CCA and transferred to the University of Colorado, Denver where he got his bachelor’s degree in business administration, and his master’s in management & organization. “I am glad to have been able to attend CCA before attending a large 4-year university,” he says “I was able to acclimate to the culture of college, while gradually building up a balance between work, school, and my personal life.”

Now Daithan is a construction lead for Xcel Energy and oversees the installation of gas and electric infrastructures. He also owns his own photography business, KIDA Photography. “I attribute any success I’ve enjoyed to a few key factors,” Daithan states, “Always stay in learning mode; remember that failure is often the best teacher; and the road to anywhere starts with just one step.”

 

Charles Watkins

Title: 
Sr. Systems Administrator (IT)
Company/Organization: 
United States Antarctic Program

Charles Watkins

Charles attended the Community College of Aurora and received his associate degree in General Studies. “Just the basics,” he says, “but I took some extra time with art classes and particularly got the biggest kicks out of trig, microeconomics with Okole Uwadebe, logic, and psychology.”

Charles then continued his education at Metro State where he earned a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Studies. As a part of his course of study, Charles participated in an internship where he was able to go to the U.S. Geological Survey's National Ice Core Lab (NICL) in Lakewood, CO. “It was at NICL that I was first exposed to the science and work being done in Antarctica.” Charles claims. “After two years of interning and working at NICL, I graduated Metro and went to work for the U.S. Antarctic Program primary support contractor." Since then, Charles has traveled to Antarctica a total of 9 times over the past 15 years – as well as New Zealand, Chile, Australia and Argentina.

 

Kathy Trujillo

Title: 
Subrogation Paralegal
Company/Organization: 
Pinnacol Assurance

Kathy Trujillo

Kathy was in the paralegal program at Community College of Aurora, and she started working in that field almost as soon as she started her classes.

“After I started my first paralegal class at CCA, I applied for a position with my current employer as a legal secretary” Kathy states. She not only got the job, but she was promoted to a paralegal position while still attending classes.

Kathy graduated from CCA with an associate degree in general studies and a certificate in paralegal. Today, Kathy is still working successfully as a paralegal and is currently going to school for her bachelor’s in communication at Regis University.

“I’ve been with my employer for over 20 years and my education at CCA has allowed me to move around in the legal field. Also, all my CCA credits transferred to Regis University so I am now two and a half classes away from getting my degree there!”

 
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