By Marybeth Bock

If you’ve never heard of College Bound AZ, it’s an East Valley based nonprofit organization whose mission is to give talented and deserving students from under served families the motivation and support needed to graduate from high school and go on to college.

Since 2010, College Bound AZ has helped over 3,000 Arizona students successfully map out a path to college, through assistance with academics, community service, college applications, and scholarship opportunities.

Many students involved with College Bound AZ have headed off to study and get degrees from Arizona State University. While the organization continues to promote ASU, they are now also pleased to highlight programs at Mesa Community College (MCC).

Two of these unique programs help students gain the knowledge and skills to quickly move into profitable careers and achieve professional success.

The first is a new degree program starting this fall – an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Beauty and Wellness. Prospective students who have already completed a cosmetology license would enter this program with 31 college credits fulfilled.

In the past, science of cosmetology programs have mainly focused on external beauty. This interdisciplinary AAS is designed to provide students with business and financial knowledge, effective and collaborative communication skills, critical thinking techniques, and leadership qualities to be empowered professionals in popular wellness industries like resort and day spas; nail, hair, and nutrition services.

The program’s required courses include options like Marketing and Social Networking, Principles of Human Nutrition, Interpersonal Communication, and Owning and Operating a Small Business. This new program also maps to ASU and can result in a bachelor’s degree in Health Entrepreneurship and Innovation. College Bound AZ is helping to recruit students from the East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT) into this MCC Beauty and Wellness program.

Another valuable program that offers both an associate degree and a number of Certificates of Completion is the Networking and Security program. Students who graduate with a degree in Networking and Security are poised to find jobs quickly, helping businesses maintain their information technology systems, and doing work like wiring offices for high speed broadband, installing and maintaining firewalls, setting up and wiping clean user accounts on PCs, and building out custom designed networks.

Students involved in MCC’s Networking & Security program will learn to perform specific tasks that meet industry-recognized standards. This includes in-demand skills associated with network administration and security, computer networks and data communications, and information and data security. This degree will help any young adult enter the workforce with a distinct advantage.

College Bound AZ is passionate about helping local area students transform their dreams into degrees. Co-founder and Executive Director Elizabeth Paulus knows that education is transformative and can serve as a bridge to a brighter future.

This nonprofit resource is celebrating their ten-year anniversary with an online auction event next month, called the Igniting the Journey UnGala. It will run from October 19-22, 2020, to raise funds for next year’s programs.

The virtual live and silent auction site is already up at and anyone can register by simply texting cb2020gala to 76278, or use this link…  

Select Sherry Eklund as your Watch Party Host.

Please consider participating in the auction or contributing any amount to their fundraising efforts so that they can continue to foster the journey to college with aspiring under-represented students through mentorship, guidance, and supportive resources for their advancement to a better future through education.


Marybeth Bock, MPH, has logged time as an Army wife, childbirth educator, college instructor and freelance writer. She lives in Phoenix and you can find her writing on multiple parenting sites.