by Jim Grimes
Rio Salado College and 91.5 KJZZ joined together to launch RSC’s new campus and KJZZ’s SPOT 127 Youth Media Center, Nov. 28.
RCO Thomas, located at 3701 West Thomas Road, Phoenix, Ariz., focuses on bridging pathways to post-secondary education, internships and career advancement. It provides adult basic education and students can take GED preparation classes or learn English as a second language.
Essential student services such as academic advising, computer accessibility, a testing center and tutoring are also available at the site for RSC’s online learners. The location is also home to a demonstration kitchen, lab spaces and classrooms to support post-secondary classes.
“These two locations bring educational opportunity and empowerment to the residents of Maryvale and central Phoenix,” Rio Salado College President Chris Bustamante said. “It is imperative that we reach out and serve students in their local neighborhoods to help them take the next steps in achieving their academic goals.”
“I don’t see how I cannot succeed, in coming here,” said GED student Stephanie Caroll. “I think this is just the first step to a wonderful life, and I can’t wait.”
The newly renovated facility is more than 22,000 square feet and opened to serve students in July. The new location is currently serving more than 500 students. While these adult students access resources at RSC Thomas, at-risk high school students are served next door through KJZZ’s SPOT 127 Youth Media Center.
SPOT 127 is an innovative after-school program designed to empower high school students through the development of state-of–the-art skills in digital media, radio and journalism. The nine month long program provides access to professional media equipment, mentoring by industry leaders and project-based instruction. The center opened in June with 11 students attending a boot camp session. It is currently teaching a class of 50.
KJZZ is a listener-supported public radio station that is licensed to the Maricopa Community College District. It is a community service of Rio Salado College’s Division of Public Services which also includes KBAQ 89.5 and Sun Sounds of Arizona. KJZZ features a mix of local and NPR news, entertainment, jazz and blues—serving nearly 319,000 weekly listeners. For more information, visit kjzz.org.