MOHAVE COUNTY – Ashley Thimm has gone through a lot of obstacles in her life. She suffered the loss of a loved one and had many health issues.
While attending River Valley High School she lost her mother and suffered a diabetic coma. At a young age she was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, a chronic condition where the pancreas produces little to no insulin.
She said her father found her unresponsive and if he hadn’t she probably would not be alive today. The doctors told her she was lucky to be alive and not suffer any brain damage from experiencing a diabetic coma.
“I lost sight of what I wanted to do in the middle of high school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do anymore. It was one of those things where the goals and motivation were gone,” Thimm said.
After graduating high school, she decided to enroll at Mohave Community College. She recently graduated with the class of 2021, earning an Associate of Applied Science in Radiologic Technology.
She said hardships didn’t keep her from pursuing a college degree and that seeing her mother live with various health issues gave her a glimpse of the healthcare profession. It also led to her interest to the medical field. The college Radiologic Technology Program allowed her to turn her passion for technology and healthcare into a career.
“When I heard about MCC having this program I said ‘I have to do this, I want to get into this program, I want to be an X-Ray technician’ and ever since I graduated high school this was my game plan – to get into the rad tech school, graduate and become an X-Ray technician,” Thimm said.
What she enjoyed most about learning radiologic technology at MCC was the hands-on learning. It prepared her to use several types of hi-tech equipment to examine different areas of the body. While taking classes she also realized she liked talking to people about the process of taking an X-Ray.
She said MCC did more for her than provide an education, it also helped her find her voice.
“MCC gave me the chance to speak up and be who I am today,” Thimm said. “They gave me the voice to speak and say ‘I can take charge.’ If it wasn’t for MCC, I don’t know if I could do take any type of leadership role.”
Thimm received the Baptist Hospitals and Health Systems (BHHS) Legacy Foundation Scholarship through the Mohave Community College Foundation. It allowed her to graduate with almost no student loan debt. Federal Student Aid also helped her pay for college.
“It helped me a lot, especially the Pell Grant, and it kept my debt to $5,000 instead of $10,000 plus,” she said. “FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aid) is one of the greatest things to do … it’s worth it.”
Thimm was also an MCC 2019 All Arizona Academic Team Member, which means she will receive a full tuition scholarship at any public university in Arizona. She is planning to attend Northern Arizona University where she’ll earn a bachelor’s degree in Diagnostic Medical Imaging and Therapy.
She was part of many MCC student organizations, including Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Student Activities Council and Bighorn Disc Golf Club. Her favorite part of participating in student organizations was reaching out to other students.
“The biggest part of it was participating in events and enlightening other students, making them see the potential of being a part of these clubs,” Thimm said.
The College Daze event was one of her favorite on campus student events. She said it always happened before final exams and was a great time to de-stress, have fun and be with friends.
Applying to become a student at MCC is free at Apply.Mohave.edu, and you are encouraged to apply now so the college student services employees can help you get into the classes you want and need before the classes fill up. Call 866-MOHAVECC (866-664-2832) for assistance, or stop by a campus near you.
Fall semester begins August 23, and classes will be held on campus, online and remotely.