Alumna initiates partnership between MCC and National Bank of Arizona benefiting ACE students

MESA, Arizona – Aug. 2, 2018 – Mesa Community College and National Bank of Arizona (NBA) entered into a partnership to assist students in MCC’s Achieving a College Education (ACE) program. The ACE program helps underrepresented high school students facilitate the transition to community college and then on to a university.

A $5,000 grant from National Bank of Arizona will provide direct financial support to students for tuition, textbook, and other items supporting their academic goals. Funding can also be used for attendance to conferences, leadership training and field trips to state universities and other events.

Students participating in MCC’s ACE program toured a National Bank of Arizona branch, exploring careers in the banking industry, learning about the variety of jobs in the banking industry and how math is relevant in banking. A financial literacy program will also be available to students and their parents and guardians.

MCC Hall of Fame honoree and MCC Development Council member Deborah Bateman initiated the partnership. Bateman is an MCC alumna  who went from bank teller to vice president to vice chairman of the Board of Directors for National Bank of Arizona.

"National Bank would like to provide a jump start on students' career goals,” Bateman said. “Whether they choose banking or another industry, we feel that given the opportunity to view and understand an industry can provide them the insight to their possibilities.”

Trish Matus, vice president and branch manager at National Bank of Arizona, said two groups of students from the MCC Math Boot Camp have toured the bank, and the Mesa branch looks forward to more student visits.

“National Bank of Arizona is pleased to be partnering with Mesa Community College for the ACE program,” Matus said. “Our first two sessions were huge successes. The students were able to spend the afternoon visiting a local branch, learning about various job families in the banking industry. The students were very engaged as they answered questions regarding their plans for the future and as they asked the speakers about their current roles in the financial industry. It was a fun and energetic afternoon and we look forward to the continued partnership.”

Angela Chavez, the MCC ACE program coordinator when the program was initiated, said the students were asked to dress in business casual attire for the bank visit.

“We want students to think of this visit with their future in mind and to consider what will become of their hard work,” Chavez said. “As students prepare to transition from high school to becoming full-time college students, they will also be entering the workforce. This activity will also encourage learning the appropriate dress code for the job or event they will prepare for or attend as they move into a professional career.”

MCC ACE student Fernando Ayala Bravo, who attends Tempe High School, said his visit to National Bank was very worthwhile. His career goal is sales engineering after he earns a bachelor’s degree.

“The visit to National Bank was awesome,” Bravo said. “We learned about the different types of people and the work at the bank. I also learned how credit works and how to start the little things that you do in order to get a bank account. The experience will help me know in the future if I want to get a job at the bank.”

A visit to the NBA Corporate Office will take place in October during ACE students’ high school fall break and scheduling of Financial Literacy sessions is in the planning stage.

Learn more about the MCC ACE program at

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Media contact: Dawn Zimmer,, 480-461-7892

Mesa Community College is nationally recognized for service-learning, career and technical programs, civic engagement and innovative approaches to higher education. The college serves as a resource for career readiness, transfer education, workforce development and lifelong learning. Host to more than 30,000 students annually, MCC offers more than 150 degree and certificate programs at its two campuses and additional locations. MCC is an emerging Hispanic Serving Institution with a diverse student body that enriches the learning experience. Renowned faculty are dedicated to student success, providing the education and training that empowers MCC students to compete locally and nationally. MCC, located in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, is one of 10 colleges comprising the Maricopa County Community College District. For additional information visit

Mesa Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA)

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Publication Date: 
Thursday, August 2, 2018