We empower Phoenix success

Jenna Leahy, M.A. in Education, 2014 and Tacey Clayton, M.A. in Education, 2012

Jenna Leahy and Tacey Clayton have seen firsthand how a lack of quality education impacts low-income students. To raise the bar, they earned their master’s degrees and founded Casa Academy, a tuition-free charter school that helps low-income students get the education they deserve.

Alumni success stories

You can succeed with the right support, guidance and flexibility to help balance everything that matters to you. Hear it from our alumni in the stories below.

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Daniel Moreno: A different kind of Phoenix

Daniel Moreno: A different kind of Phoenix

Daniel used education to keep his mind focused and get through an unexpected health scare.

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Anthony Johnson - The Send Off - University of Phoenix

00:00 [MUSIC PLAYING]
00:24 His commencement is two days after he leaves.
00:30 He's going to be such a great father to look up to.
00:33 He gives 110% in everything that he
00:00:35 does-- doing homework assignments really late
00:37 to make sure that they got done.
00:39 Today, what we're doing is we're going to surprise Anthony.
00:43 We have gathered all of his friends, all of his family
00:46 in a very intimate, very informal session.
00:49 He has no idea of this whole situation.
00:52 And I think this is going to overwhelm him
00:54 when he gets here.
00:56 [CHEERING]
01:00 The University of Phoenix is so honored
01:03 to be a part of this journey that you've chosen.
01:07 I wanted my mom to see me walk across,
01:09 because I'm the first of my family to do it.
01:11 And that's all I've ever wanted to do
01:12 is to make my family proud, make my wife proud,
01:15 and to lead by example for my family.
01:17 I couldn't be more proud of you.
01:19 I love you.
01:20 I love you too.
01:22 I chose University of Phoenix because
01:25 of the ease of access for my heavy caseload
01:29 that I was getting from life.
01:31 I don't think I could have done it with any other school.
01:34 I'm a proud graduate of the University of Phoenix
01:36 with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice.
01:39 We hereby congratulate Anthony Johnson.
01:43,490 --> 00:01:45,961

Anthony Johnson: Ease of access

Anthony balanced being a husband, father, soldier and future college graduate. 

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Family First - Alumnus Carlos Ramirez - University of Phoenix

Carlos Ramirez: Family first

A flexible learning format empowered Carlos to continue his education while caring for his son.

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Ty & Jennifer – Larry Fitzgerald – University of Phoenix


00:00 [MUSIC PLAYING]
00:02 Ty and Jennifer are counselors at University of Phoenix.
00:06 They treated me like a nephew.
00:08 Loved on me when I wasn't doing great in class.
00:10 They said, Larry, listen.
00:11 I know this is tough.
00:12 This is a new experience for you.
00:13 You know you have to get a B to be able to pass this class.
00:16 And so they were always keeping those positive messages
00:19 coming my way all the time.
00:20 Just letting me know, hey, we see the light
00:22 at the end of the tunnel.

Larry Fitzgerald: Academic Advisors

Larry thanks his advisors, Ty and Jennifer, who guided and encouraged him to finish his degree.

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Paul Goldschmidt - University of Phoenix

00:02 I never imagined that I'd be playing in the big leagues.
00:04 I still honestly have to pinch myself
00:06 and can't believe I get to play baseball for a living.
00:09 He has struck out five times.
00:10 My dad just told me, if you want to get better some
00:12 you got to work hard at it.
00:14 You're going to have to be the first one to practice,
00:16 the last one to leave.
00:17 Nobody out, let's go!
00:19 Always knew I was going to go back and finish my degree.
00:21 I had worked really hard for three years,
00:24 I didn't want that work to go to waste.
00:28 The biggest thing with going back to school
00:30 while I was playing was just trying
00:32 to find times that I could get my work done
00:35 while it wasn't going to take away from my family time.
00:38 Whenever I go into a situation whatever it is,
00:40 I just want to give them my all and do the best I can.
00:43 I made it my mission that nobody was going
00:44 to work harder than I was.
00:47 Whether that's baseball, whether that's school,
00:49 whether that's being a parent, whatever it is, whatever
00:51 you're passionate about, it's going
00:52 to take a lot of hard work.
00:54 It's a home run, Paul Goldschmidt!

Paul Goldschmidt: Going back to school

Through hard work and dedication, Paul earned his degree while being a father and a professional ball player.

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Phoenix Rising: Ardelia and Leonard’s Graduation Story


00:01 I love this story.
00:03 It's a mother-son team who are both graduating today
00:06 from the University of Phoenix.
00:10 It's rough out here, especially for young men.
00:14 He needs an education.
00:16 She kind of came with a bet.
00:18 What if I go to school with you?
00:20 I'll make a bet-- if you go to school, I'll go to school.
00:23 Exactly how I said it.
00:25 Ardelia stated to us, how could I preach education
00:29 when I didn't go to school?
00:31 So she led by example.
00:33 It was great to be able to go one night a week,
00:35 get my homework done, and still be
00:36 able to work 40, 50 hours a week.
00:39 The biggest takeaway was that they would motivate each other
00:42 to succeed at school.
00:44 I felt like if I didn't succeed, he wasn't going to succeed.
00:49 The times I was down and getting frustrated with school,
00:51 thinking I can't do it and I'm tired of working,
00:53 she was the one always motivating me.
00:56 She is a first time graduate for her generation,
00:59 and he is a first time graduate for his generation.
01:06 This journey is a family affair.
01:09 They finish that journey together today
01:12 as they walk onstage together to receive their diplomas.
01:1 Ardelia Houston and Leonard Brown.
01:26 We did it!
01:27 Made it.
01:27 So proud of you.
01:31 We did it.
01:34 I'm very proud of him.
01:36 You know, it proved to me that anything can be done.
01:39 You're a strong mother.

Ardelia and Leonard: Graduation story

Mother and son duo, Ardelia and Leonard, challenged each other to earn their degrees.

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