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‘Grit’ Put This CCP Graduate Single Mom On The Path To A Promising Tech Career | Local News

Five years ago, Ariane Davaul could not have imagined that she would be about to launch a career in the field of engineering.

“My brother is a mechanical engineer, but it’s not something I’ve ever seen for myself,” Davaul said. “As a woman, engineering is not something that pushes us. Working with tools never crossed my mind.

On Monday, she began an internship as an engineering technician at Texas Instruments. And on Wednesday evening, she will graduate from Pima Community College with an Advanced Certificate in Automated Industrial Technology.

She will be one of 3,300 female students to graduate from college this week in the CCP’s first in-person intake since the pandemic began two years ago. At the graduation ceremony, which will take place outdoors at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium, the college will award more than 4,500 degrees and certificates.

For Davaul, obtaining a certificate in automated industrial technology is an important step in his plan to build a stimulating and lucrative career.

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Earning this certificate brings her closer to earning her associate degree later this year. After that, she plans to enroll in the Industrial Leadership Program at Northern Arizona University, which has a partnership with PCC and prepares students for leadership positions in the industrial technology sector.

It’s been a long road for the single mother of a 13-year-old to get here.

“My life is really different from what it was three years ago when I started school,” said Davaul, who has spent a decade working as a veterinary assistant, which she says is not did not offer many opportunities for advancement before returning to school. “I was an underemployed single mother trying to raise my daughter – trying to support her on minimum wage. I just realized it wasn’t going to work. »

So, at the age of 37, she joined the CCP. There she discovered the Automated Industrial Technology program, which teaches students how to program, manage and troubleshoot automated systems that now control everything from cars to industrial cleaning equipment.

The future: managing the robotic workforce

At first, earning a bachelor’s degree was not on Davaul’s radar.

She started with the goal of earning the certificate she graduates with on Wednesday. Once she got it, she said, “I thought I might get an entry-level job and make more than minimum wage.” To pay for her studies, she took two part-time jobs and received several scholarships.

But as Davaul took more classes in the automated industrial technology program, she realized she had a penchant for problem solving and working with computers. She no longer wanted to stop at the certificate level.

“Once I got into it, I found it super interesting and empowering,” she said. “After I graduate, I will be able to manage a robotics workforce. It’s a new emerging field that also has the ability to make me quite a bit of money. It felt like a win-win to me.

And she knows she’ll be able to handle any professional challenges her career may present, as she’s already managed to balance single parenthood, a full course load, and two jobs.

“It takes determination,” Davaul said. “When you face trials and tribulations in life, you develop courage. All the struggles and difficult times made me adopt a positive attitude and be even more determined not to fail.

This spirit was not lost on his instructors at the CCP.

“She’s goal-oriented and knows what she wants,” said Zhongyi Yang, a robotics instructor at CCP. “It’s a non-traditional program for female students and she completed it. She sets an example for her daughter and I think that’s one of her biggest motivations.

Davaul’s mother, Cheryll Davaul, knows this to be true.

“I’m really happy that she found this area. It’s something that she ultimately decided was her niche,” said Cheryll, who has helped Ariane care for her daughter, Scarlett, over the years. “I’m sure this will eventually influence Scarlett to find out what she likes to do and do it.”

And after Ariane got her certificate this week, Cheryll Davaul has no doubt that her daughter will achieve all the other educational and professional goals she has set for herself.

“She keeps moving,” said Cheryll Davaul, who added that this past spring break was the first time she’d seen Ariane take time off since returning to school. “The harder things get, the more she seems to want to get things done.”

Kathryn Palmer covers higher education for the Arizona Daily Star. Contact her by email at kpalmer@tucson.com or her new phone number, 520-496-9010.

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