May 2, 2017


CONTACT: Donna Oracion, 575-624-7403




ENMU-Roswell will hold two commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 12 at the Roswell Convention and Civic Center, 912 N. Main St. More than 200 candidates for graduation will participate in the Sixty-Seventh Commencement Convocation. The first ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m. for graduation candidates receiving Associate of Applied Science, Associate of Science, and Associate of Arts degrees. Students receiving both a certificate and an associate degree will participate in the 5:30 p.m. ceremony. Bachelor’s and master’s degree candidates from ENMU will also participate in the 5:30 p.m. ceremony.


The second ceremony will begin at 7:30 p.m. for those graduation candidates receiving Certificates of Employability, Certificates of Occupational Training, and Certificates of Completion. New Mexico Youth ChalleNGe graduation candidates will also participate in this ceremony.


The commencement speaker will be Sonia Sanchez, 19, who graduated as the Salutatorian at Dexter High School in 2015. She went to UNM for two months but decided it wasn’t the college for her, so she returned to her home in Hagerman. Fortunately, Sanchez was notified she was still eligible for the Presidential Scholarship at ENMU-Roswell. She met with an advisor and enrolled as a full-time student in January of 2016. While in high school, Sanchez completed several online dual credit classes, so she has earned enough credits to receive an Associate of Arts degree in Business Administration. Why Business Administration? “Math is my favorite subject. I’m good with numbers,” she said. She is proud to be the first in her family to graduate from college.


In addition to attending classes, Sanchez works full time as a day habilitation staff member at Aspire Developmental Services in Artesia. She coordinates daily activities for a group of clients with mental disabilities. “I like working with people. I never thought I would do something like this. They need help and I love them so much. They are like a second family to me. I spend more time with them than my own family during the week,” she said.


After graduation, Sanchez plans to continue working and take some time to figure out her next step. She likes living in small towns and spending time with her little brother, Isaac. She wants to especially thank her mother, Lisa, for her love and support. “She is the reason why I do everything,” she said.