Dreambuilder graduates 11

Contributed Image. The Dreambuilder program through Eastern Arizona College's Small Business Development Center and the ASU Thunderbird School, conducted a virtual graduation for 11 who recently completed the program.

THATCHER — An ongoing pandemic could not keep 11 entrepreneurs from their goal of starting or expanding a business.

On Monday, July 27, Eastern Arizona College’s Small Business Development Center hosted a Zoom graduation for the participants in this year’s Dreambuilder Program in Graham County.

 “The question is, ‘What are you going to now do with what you’ve done, and the sacrifices you’ve made over the last few weeks in completing this course?’ My question for you tonight is what are you going to do now? Don’t all the effort, don’t let the journey stop tonight; take those next steps,” said Kevin Peck, director of the SBDC at Eastern Arizona College.

DreamBuilder, funded by Freeport-McMoRan and created by the ASU Thunderbird School, is an online business training program designed for women to assist them in starting their own business. There were 13 courses to be completed online and nine workshops led the SBDC’s Charmaine Chidester

This year’s graduates included Sarah Bingham, Mickey Hawkins, Erin Kidd, Deanna Best, Kay Marchione, Cristina Mitchell, Elaine Molina, Sierra Mullins, Kirk Orona, Jill Radley and Kalee Udall.

The program has graduated 70 women and one man in the Gila Valley over the last five years.