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NMJC SSS Program Hosts Recognition Luncheon

NMJC SSS Program Hosts Recognition Luncheon photo 5/12/2008 10:54:09 a.m. - Hobbs, NM. Student Support Services, a part of the federally funded TRiO program at New Mexico Junior College, hosted a luncheon on Thursday, May 8, to honor and recognize graduates and transferees from the program along with those individuals who have made a difference in their lives during their time at NMJC.

President Steve McCleery, who spoke to the 200+ attendees, encouraged them, no matter where their paths in life might lead them, to always maintain their passion, respect, and care for people and to maintain a lifelong thirst for learning. "Embrace whatever you do with passion," he said, "and the world can be yours." Citing Benjamin Franklin as an example of someone who achieved much through his passion for people and learning, McCleery urged everyone to envision a goal and "Don't stop dreaming."

Elias Jimenez, who plans to move to Lubbock, Texas, upon graduation, said that the people at SSS help students accomplish more than just educational goals. "Besides explaining things and helping first-generation students get free books and tutoring and stuff like that, they become friends. They really do care about us and take a personal interest in us. It's kind of like having family. They're definitely friends to us."

Angel Valdez, who will be moving to Los Angeles after graduation, agrees. According to him, SSS also helped him fulfill a promise to his late mother. "My mother passed away eight years ago, and she always wanted me to go to college. They [SSS] helped me make it happen. And now I'm moving to LA because I want to work as an actor and a writer. And maybe I'll go back to school."

SSS graduates and transferees (left column) recognized the following individuals for "Taking Time to Make a Difference" in their educational experience.
Lizette Bayona - Pete Mladinic
Joanna Cabello - Maria Vick
Janie Campos - Shyla McGill
Luisa Claro - Terry Holloman
Marycruz Claro - Linda Connell
Karime Garcia & Cassandra Rivas - Rebecca Titus
Patricia Hernandez - Charlotte Schmitz
Melanie Hunter - Dr. Brenda Pierce
Ecequiel Jimenez - Chris Howell
Elias Jimenez - Joe Garcia
Nahrain Karam - Shelly Murphy
Rachel Lopez - Lynda Newman
Alba Martinez - Toni Dunn
Maria Martinez - Michelle Cortez
Maribel Martinez - Anne Chaffin
Karina Olivas - Eva Sanchez
Zulema Ortega - Dr. Gayle Abbott
Elisa Peacock - Cyndi Stephenson
Lenora Peters - Rene' Reynolds
Karina Ramirez & Belinda Villanueva - Delores Thompson
Gabriela Rodriguez - Adam Guillen
Selena Ruiz - Dr. Patty Emmerich
Denise Rusk - John Rice
Angel Valdez - Sonya Richardson
Jason Van Wormer - Sandy Hardin

For more information about Student Support Services or any of the TRiO programs, which offer services and support to low-income, first-generation, and disabled students, please contact Dr. Gayle Abbott at 575.492.2617 or

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