TV Personality Cristina Saralegui’s Sonando Contigo and Ashworth University Makes Graduate’s Dreams a Reality

Norcross, GA, August 24, 2008 --( There are many reasons why students seek education beyond high school. For some it is as simple as getting the right training to get a better job or to make more money to support their family. For others it is something much more personal - fulfilling a passion for learning. For all, at the end of the process is receiving a diploma to validate their achievement.

Yuma, Arizona native Carolina Alfaro had dreams for making a better life for herself and her family. Pursuing a diploma in Massage Techniques from Ashworth University’s Career School was the first step to reaching her goal of becoming a child care management specialist.

Alfaro’s years of study, balancing life and family obligations began to pay off when she received her diploma from Ashworth, a leader in distance education. However, there was still one thing missing… the opportunity to attend her graduation ceremony which would be held August 9 in Norcross, GA.

Enter veteran TV host Cristina Saralegui. Familiarly known as the Latina “Oprah,” Saralegui is a revered activist among the Hispanic community. Through her Univision show, The Cristina Show, she hosts a one-hour, primetime special entitled Soñando Contigo (“Dreaming with You”) which aims to make a dream a reality for a deserving Hispanic family or individual.

Alfaro’s story came to the attention of show producers who were reviewing thousands of requests for the September 15 segment which will air on Univision at 10:00 p.m., EST. Coming from a family of seven, Alfaro is the first to complete a higher education program. Unfortunately, financial constraints prevented her from attending her Ashworth graduation ceremony in Norcross, a community just north of Atlanta.

“We reviewed thousands of letters,” said Isabel Cuervo, Cristina Show producer. “Having the opportunity to meet Carolina and her family, we know we made the right selection. She is goal-oriented and very deserving.”

On August 6, 2008, representatives from Soñando Contigo flew to Yuma where they surprised her with a special graduation present – an opportunity for her and her parents to attend the Ashworth’s ceremony. Within 24 hours, Carolina, her parents and the production crew arrived in Atlanta for a whirlwind of graduation activities.

To encourage Alfaro’s future success, Jon Bouffler, Ashworth Executive Vice President presented her with a scholarship to Ashworth University’s Associate Degree program in Early Childhood Education.

“We’re excited to participate in such a worthwhile event,” said Bouffler. “As educators, a story like Carolina’s reminds us of the significant impact education has on our student’s lives.”

“It also demonstrates that there is more to distance education. A simple act like attending a live ceremony has special significance for many of our graduates,” he added. “Some are changing careers. Some never completed high school. Some are military personnel completing their degrees while being deployed around the world. Our students come from diverse backgrounds and situations; as such they have made significant commitment to improve their lives through education – often juggling work, family and finances to realize their dreams.”

“Attending my graduation is a major highlight of my educational career, so far,” Alfaro said. “Ashworth’s program allowed me to reach my goals quickly and affordably.”

She added that she is looking forward to combining her massage techniques training with her future studies in early childcare. “By combining the two disciplines, I will be able to instill greater confidence in the children I work with,” she explained.

In addition to the graduation ceremony, Alfaro had the opportunity to meet Ashworth administration and staff, participate in a Career Workshop sponsored by®, and meet with her instructor, Kristy Carter, owner of The Center for Psychotherapy & Healing Arts.

About Ashworth University
Ashworth University, a worldwide leader in comprehensive distance education, offers diploma and degree programs in high school, career school, associates, bachelors and masters. It is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). Based in Norcross, GA, Ashworth University, offers more than 450 different high school, career school, associates, bachelors and masters courses.

Ashworth University
Richard Orr