Introducing Our New Bear Scholars

Emily Lopez and Jillian Herner
Magaly Lozano
March 19, 2018

What is the Bear Scholarship Program?

The Bear Scholars Program is the marquee program of the Phoenix College Alumni Association (PCAA). The PCAA and the Half-Century Alumni award the Bear Scholarship to motivated students attending Phoenix College who are in financial need and who have a clear direction of their academic and career goals.

Once accepted into the program, students receive a substantial scholarship to cover all or much of their tuition each semester. They are then assigned an alumni mentor who supports and coaches them through their time at Phoenix College. Additionally, bear scholars complete community service hours to the Phoenix College Alumni Association. They embody the diverse student community of Phoenix College and serve as the face of student scholarships at Phoenix College.

Emily Lopez

Lopez’s journey to Phoenix College was not an easy road. She struggles with a chronic and life-altering condition that makes attending any school a daily challenge. Not one to back down from obstacles, Lopez rises above her medical concerns every day to attend classes.

In addition to a full course load, Lopez devotes many hours to student clubs (i.e. International Club, Women Rising, and National Alliance on Mental Illness).

After being granted her wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation as a child, Lopez has a strong desire to give back to this local Phoenix organization.

Working on her transfer credits through the Maricopa-ASU Partnership Program (MAPP), Lopez’s goal is to graduate from Arizona State University (ASU) with a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications. She hopes one day to become part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation as the Communications Manager.

“My education will allow me to improve the quality of an organization that has changed the lives of numerous children across the United States.” - Emily Lopez

Jillian Herner

Herner is currently working through her pre-nursing and transfer coursework at Phoenix College (PC). Not long ago, even the idea of college was an impossible dream.  After enduring a difficult time in her life, Herner found herself living on the streets.  She remembers at one point walking by Phoenix College’s campus and determining that she would walk the grounds as a student one day soon.

Taking on this dream as a personal challenge, Herner secured a part-time job and sought the assistance of food and clothing banks, government utility assistance and local church benevolence programs to put her back on track. Now a full-time student at Phoenix College, Herner earns straight A’s in all her courses and is an active member of Phi Theta Kappa.

“I simply cannot express how excited I am to start building my experience as an RN…I have a strong personal desire to give back, especially to other young women who are at high risk of domestic violence, human trafficking, and sexual abuse. Our community clinics and shelters need compassionate and skilled personnel [and]….I am compelled to ensure they receive my part helping where I can.” - Jillian Herner

Herner plans to complete her Bachelor’s in Nursing (BSN) degree at Phoenix College through the Concurrent Enrollment Program between Northern Arizona State University (NAU) and PC. She then aspires to earn her MSN and DSN through NAU.

Magaly Lozano

Lozano is currently in her second semester as a nursing student at Phoenix College. She works part-time at a non-profit inner city emergency department and takes a full course block in the Bilingual Nursing Fellowship Program.

She plans to complete the program at the end of 2018 and obtain her Bachelor’s in Nursing (BSN) from Arizona State University (ASU) and become a Board Certified Lactation Consultant.

“I hope to apply my newly acquired skills as a nurse to eventually open a Lactation and Pregnancy Clinic for low income families…[and] help meet the needs of our bilingual community.” - Magaly Lozano

Lozano is the first to admit that she is not the perfect student. She is open about her struggles to balance work, family life, and her intense course of study at Phoenix College. Through the pursuit of her nursing degree, she hopes to inspire others who feel that they do not “have what it takes” to achieve their dreams.

Bear Scholars Giving

Lopez, Herner, and Lozano join the Alumni Association's four returning bear scholars for the Spring 2018 semester. Bear Scholars will assist with alumni and fundraising activities including the Eric Fischl Lecture Series and the Commencement ceremonies in May.

If you are interested in learning more about the Bear Scholars Program and how you can help, please contact or you can donate directly to the program by selecting "Alumni Association Scholarship" on our GIVE BACK page.

About Phoenix College

Phoenix College is one of the 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District, one of the largest community college districts in the nation. Phoenix College offers academic courses leading to associate degrees, university transfer, certificates and short-term job training to more than 11,000 students annually.