Rialto Police Officer to Receive National Award on Capitol Hill

Washington, March 9 — Rialto police officer Crystal Gonzalez will be presented the Career College Association (CCA) 2010 GREAT (Graduate Recognition for Excellence, Achievement and Talent) Award at a ceremony in the Cannon House Caucus Room on Wednesday, March 10.

CCA President Harris Miller will present the award to Gonzalez, a 2007 graduate of Everest College in Ontario, California, for her outstanding academic and personal achievements. Gonzalez’s determination to be a source of positive change in her community where she serves as a police officer and her heroism serving our nation overseas make her an ideal recipient of this year’s GREAT Award.

As a child, Gonzalez knew that she wanted to be a police officer. To pursue this goal, she decided to join the military to serve her country and gain valuable professional skills. Joining the military just before 9/11, she was promptly deployed to Afghanistan and then to Iraq, where she provided supplies to Special Forces troops. While in Iraq, Gonzalez was involved in an accident where the driver of her tanker truck crashed into a ravine filled with water, trapping her and her partner. Through tremendous effort, she managed to kick open the gun turret hatch and swim to the surface, but with her partner still trapped inside the truck, she dived back into the water, pulled him back up to safety, and performed resuscitation on him until he was breathing again on his own. It was this act of heroism that solidified Gonzalez’s resolve to continue to help others by becoming a police officer. After the military, she enrolled at Everest College choosing Criminal Justice as her major. She graduated with a 3.9 GPA. Following her education at Everest College, Gonzalez finally realized her goal and enrolled at the police academy, graduating in the top 10 of her class and becoming an officer with the Rialto Police Department.

"Career colleges graduate some of this country’s most extraordinary students, many of whom balance career and family as they overcome overwhelming challenges," Miller said. "CCA’s GREAT Award recipients represent the power of educational achievements, and the dedication to reaching goals. We applaud Crystal Gonzalez for her heroism, service and sacrifice. We are proud to present her with this award."

Since the program’s inception in 2004, the GREAT Awards have honored recent career college graduates who have overcome extraordinary difficulties and circumstances to be where they are today. In past years, CCA has honored military veterans, disaster survivors, and other truly outstanding individuals whose stories are inspiring and memorable.

About the CCA
The Career College Association (CCA) is a voluntary membership organization of accredited, private postsecondary schools, institutes, colleges and universities that provide career-specific educational programs. CCA has more than 1,600 members that educate and support over one million students each year for employment in over 200 occupational fields. CCA member institutions provide the full range of higher education programs: masters and doctoral degree programs, two- and four-year associate and baccalaureate degree programs, and short-term certificate and diploma programs. Visit CCA at www.career.org or follow us on Twitter: ccanow.

About Everest College
Everest College provides career-oriented diploma and degree programs in healthcare, criminal justice, skilled trades, business, paralegal, and information technology. Everest College has 11 campuses in the Southern California area — Alhambra, Anaheim, City of Industry, Gardena, Los Angeles, Ontario, Ontario Metro, Reseda, San Bernardino, Torrance, and West Los Angeles. Everest has 100 schools in the U.S. and Canada, and is owned by Corinthian Colleges, Inc., one of the largest post-secondary education companies in North America. For more information, visit www.everest.edu.

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