Maricopa Emergency Management System Alert

COVID-19 Update: The EMCC campus is open for classes, appointments, and walk-in services. Masks are required for everyone inside ALL buildings at EMCC.  All student support services are still available online. Students are encouraged to contact their instructors for additional information.

Meet Your PALS

Your highly trained PALS are students like you who come from diverse backgrounds, and many are the first in their family to attend college. They have experienced similar challenges to those you may be going through and can share what they did to overcome them and create success at EMCC.



Ariana Newman-Roberson

Major/Degree Pathway: Associates in Business, General Emphasis in Business Communication/Marketing

Expected Graduation: Fall 2023

Next Steps: I plan on getting a job at a Marketing firm and transferring to University of California, Irvine to earn a Bachelor's Degree.

Career Goal: To own a Marketing firm.

Why I Wanted to be a PAL: I wanted to be a PAL because I have a passion to uplift others and make a difference. I know what it’s like to struggle in school and having support makes all the difference. Having a niche for making others feel comfortable and heard, I know I can help EMCC students succeed.

What I'd Like You to Know About Me: In my free time I love cooking, listening to music, and spending time with my family and close friends. My Favorite TV Series are: That's So Raven and Girlfriends.


Cassie Kline

Cassie Kline

Major/Degree Pathway: In Spring of 2021 I earned my Associates of Arts degree. In late June I applied for the Nursing program at Estrella. I plan on doing the Nursing program at Estrella along with the Concurrent Enrollment Program (CEP).

Expected Graduation: Spring 2021

Next Steps: I plan on getting a spot in the Nursing program at Estrella while I do the CEP program with Ottawa University. Also, work part time during that time. After all that start working as a registered nurse.

Career Goal: I want to become an experienced nurse to discover what more I want to do/be as a nurse. As I continue my schooling and career, I will learn more about who I am as a nurse.

Why I Wanted to be a PAL: I struggled my first year of college and some life things made it a bit more difficult. I did not have a mentor to help guide me through steps I should take for health sciences. I do not want you to feel lost and not have someone to help you along your journey. I have a passion to help others and will try the best I can to help you.

What I'd Like You to Know About Me: I was born in Arizona and lived here for most of my life. When I was about preschool age my family and I lived in Iowa for 2 years because my dad is from Iowa. I have a beagle named Paris Snoopy and I love her so much. I love to listen to music while I clean, cook, or do any art crafts.


Darius Stevenson

Darius Stevenson

Major/Degree Pathway: Business Administration

Expected Graduation: Fall 2021

Next Steps: I plan to receive my associates degree then transfer to a University in Texas to graduate with my bachelors degree in Business of Administration.

Career Goal: Having the experience to work with a variety of businesses and people.

Why I Wanted to be a PAL: I wanted to be a PAL ally so I can help my fellow student peers get college and career ready. College came with struggles and hardships for me, but if I can help guide and support students with issues I’ve been through or if they are new to me, then it would be a learning and helpful experience for the both of us. I want them to know that I am here to help them succeed and have motivation to overachieve.

What I'd Like You to Know About Me: I love to play the PlayStation and the Xbox with my friends. I’m watching anime like One Piece, Hunter x Hunter, and Dragonball. I would like to read and draw more in my free time. I was born in Louisiana and was raised in Arizona.


Grant Smith

Grant Smith

Major/Degree Pathway: Associate of Arts and Applied Science, Emphasis in Information Technology; Microsoft Networking Technology, 90/30 program at Estrella and Northern Arizona University.

Expected Graduation: Fall 2021

Next Steps: After I graduate from EMCC’s 90/30 program I will continue to Northern Arizona University online. I want to try and participate in internships while I am in school at Banner Health, Honeywell, or Intel when they are available. I plan to graduate from NAU by 2023.

Career Goal: To work for a government sector/department as I already do. While the pay is less, the job security is fantastic along with the benefits I receive with the job.

Why I Wanted to be a PAL: I want to be a PAL and mentor other students because of a personal experience that I had with Estrella Mountain's program called Engage Estrella. Engage Estrella is where I found my actual degree, a great mentor, and it pushed me forward to look for internships.

What I'd like You to Know About Me: I was born in San Antonio but I have lived in Florida, Hawaii, and Japan. I have visited Los Angeles, Santa Cruz and the Philippines. My hobbies and skills that I want to learn more about are: playing guitar, luthier, cooking, trying new dishes and drinks, soldering, and exploring. My favorite movie genre is Horror and a few of my favorites are: The Green Room, Noroi, I Saw the Devil, and Martyrs (2008, the French version). I like to watch soccer (Italian Serie A), NFL, and NBA. Lastly, I have two dogs and one is a German Shepherd pure breed and the other is a lab and pitbull mix.


Jacob Riesgo

Jacob Riesgo

Major/Degree Pathway: Behavioral Science and Human Services

Expected Graduation: Summer 2022

Next Steps: I plan to graduate with an Associate in Arts, Emphasis in Psychology, and transfer over to ASU to complete a bachelor's degree in psychology.

Career Goal: After graduating with a Bachelors I hope to be working in the field while pursuing my masters degree as well.

Why I Wanted to be a PAL: I wanted to be a pal because I understand the struggles that come with adapting to college life. I also wanted to be part of an environment that welcomes students and allows them to be more immersed in the lifestyle that is being a college student. I love to meet new people no matter where they are in their journey and I love to help others and support them along the way.

What I'd Like You to Know About Me: I was born in Arizona so I know that the heat here can be brutal, but I absolutely love the weather when it’s nice and cool outside. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family whether that involves eating a meal with them, watching a movie, or just making conversation. Some of my hobbies include lifting weights and playing video games. I also love to watch NFL football. I have a love/hate relationship with coffee and energy drinks because they are so good, but I try not to lean on them for energy super often. Lastly, I try my best to meditate often, as for me it is one of the things, I do to alleviate stress. I hope I can be a great PAL!


Megan Macias

Megan Macias

Major/Degree Pathway: Associates in Arts, Emphasis in English (Literature) | Culture & Society

Expected Graduation: Summer 2022

Next Steps: After graduating from Estrella Mountain Community College, I plan to transfer to Arizona State University to pursue my bachelor’s degree in English Literature.

Career Goal: To be a novelist and own a diverse publishing house.

Why I Wanted to be a PAL: Helping other students who have struggled finding their educational plan and career path has driven me to become a PALS mentor. Through great resources here at Estrella Mountain Community College, I have discovered new interests and fields to explore.

What I'd Like You to Know About Me: When I’m not reading or writing, I enjoy drinking lattes and expanding my palate with teas and other caffeinated drinks. My favorite genre to read is Fantasy and Romance while my favorite genre to write is not carved onto a particular stone. Books I dream about daily are Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert, and my own novel in the making.


Thomas Mitchell

Thomas Mitchell

Major/Degree Pathway: Associates in Science with a major in Physics (emphasis in Astrophysics), 2NAU Program @ Estrella Mountain Community College

Expected Graduation: Spring 2022

Next Steps: After I graduate from EMCC’s 2NAU program, I will continue to get my BS (with a major in Astrophysics) at NAU. I want to also participate in internships over the summer in order to get some hands-on experience in my field of choice. After I graduate with my BS in Astrophysics, I plan to get my PhD in Astrophysics as well.

Career Goal: Now, my plan is to work either for government entities such as NASA, or private sectors like Space X or Blue Origin. If things change, I may try to go into research in order to make new discoveries in my field of Astrophysics. Either way, if my work has a net positive gain for humanity, I will be happy.

Why I Wanted to be a PAL: I wanted to be a PAL, because I remember coming into college with no clue to how things work. I was lost and ill-informed. I did not know where to go or what to do when I found out. To have a person to guide me and mentor me through that process, would have been a life saver. I never want any of my peers to feel like that. So, when the opportunity presented itself, I knew that I could make a difference. I just enjoy working with others as well, I am excited!

What I'd Like You to Know About Me: I was born here in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1997. I was born in South Phoenix but was moved to West Phoenix in 2000 by two of the most amazing, adopted parents in the world. I have a HUGE family. I have 16 siblings, not including me. I love them all, and I always have an amazing time with them. I have one dog that I love, her name is Sassy. She is 10 years old and still a firecracker! I also love music. I play the piano, bass, organ, and drums. I oftentimes make music during my free time. I love movies as well, my favorite is “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”. Not saying it is the best movie, just that it is my favorite. As you can assume, I am a math and science lover. Some people call me a mad-man, others call me inspirational; I am just a guy who loves space and how it works. One final thing, I love to meet new people. This is a huge part of my personality, so I hope you are as excited as I am!