Maricopa’s Socorro Carrillo named CAC’s March Student of the Month

Socorro CarrilloBy Guy Harrison, Media & Marketing Specialist

PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. - Socorro Carrillo is the first student leader to grace Central Arizona College's months-old Maricopa Campus. And yet, the East Los Angeles native, who is in her second year of studies at CAC, is self-effacing enough to be humbled by that distinction.

"That makes me nervous," she says, acknowledging that she had never thought of her accomplishments in that manner. "I feel like I have expectations to live up to now."

But behind every great leader are even greater expectations that they place on themselves, and oftentimes, those leaders do not share those expectations freely. So it is with Carrillo who, at the age of 18, completed an internship as a writer for the Maricopa Monitor.

This is part of a vision that she has for her future, one in which she uses her skills as a writer and her interest in domestic and foreign affairs as either a diplomat or a journalist. These are jobs she would like to perform behind the scenes but, as she's quickly learning, that concept and those careers do not go hand-in-hand.

"I'm not a spotlight person, which is bad because that's probably going to be my job in the future, being the voice and face for people."

Carrillo, a graduate of Sequoia Pathway Academy in Maricopa, appears to have walked into the spotlight much earlier than she had aspired. Because of her contributions in getting the Maricopa Campus's Student Leadership Organization (SLO) off the ground (as its president, no less) and for recently representing the campus at the annual Student Public Policy Forum (SPPF) in Washington, D.C., Carrillo has been chosen as CAC's Student of the Month for March.

"[Carrillo] has been an influential component in the creation of Student Leadership at Maricopa," says Megan Brown, SLO advisor at the Maricopa Campus. "She has been a role model for other student leaders and brings new and creative ideas to support student learning as she has taken the lead on several campus events."

Some of those events include Welcome Week activities, a campus canned food drive and Relay for Life. When she isn't planning and organizing events, she's recruiting students for CAC's Anime Club, a student organization she helped start. She also manages to find the time to write for The Cactus, CAC's student newspaper, as well as work part-time in the campus library and assist the college's public relations office as an unpaid intern.

The highlight of Carrillo's accomplishments, however, was when she and three other CAC students traveled with college administrators to our nation's capital for SPPF, a forum through which community college students from all over the United States are given the opportunity to meet with Federal lawmakers and discuss the issues the students believe are most significant to two-year colleges today. Carrillo chose to discuss the impact of Federal grant programs.

"SPPF was a great experience because I got to be around people whose views were different from my own," Carrillo says, stating that she also gained valuable experience from the forum's political environment. "Also, speaking with our congressmen was nice. They actually cared about what I was saying."

Carrillo believes that all of these experiences will serve her well as she goes on to pursue her goals, which includes transferring to an out-of-state four-year university in order to, as she states it, "broaden her horizons."

"CAC has had a major impact in my life. I'm extremely grateful for the opportunities they have given me. To be able to send student representatives to something like SPPF is amazing."

Central Arizona College - District Office 8470 N. Overfield Road, Coolidge, AZ 85128 Phone: 800-237-9814