May 9, 2019


CONTACT: Donna Oracion, 575-624-7403





Six months ago, Haley Gee and Destiny Padilla enrolled at the Roswell Job Corps Center. Like the other students, they intended to find a trade and earn a high school diploma. A Job Corps Pilot Program offered at ENMU-Roswell gave them the opportunity to also complete a college certificate.  Gee and Padilla were the only two students to enroll in this new program, which was divided into two eight-week sessions this spring semester. In 16 weeks, Gee and Padilla completed a total of 24 credit hours and will graduate with Certificates of Employability in Office Management and Technologies. Both plan to participate in ENMU-Roswell’s 71st Commencement Ceremony on May 10. In addition to taking college classes, Gee and Padilla also completed an online program to earn their high school diplomas.


“Both came into the program with a goal in mind, but did not realize the workload involved,” said Lorrie Miller, instructor. “They were asked to do an incredible amount of work and they have done a great job. I’m very proud of them both.”


Gee, who is 19, and Padilla, who is 18, agree the fast track program was challenging, but a good decision. Both admit to struggling with low self-confidence and this program has given them new hope for the future.  “The Job Corps made me want to get an education and succeed in life, but I needed something to push me,” said Padilla. “I like to work at my own pace and now I’m excited to graduate.”


“My dad didn’t graduate from high school, so he asked me to do that,” said Gee. “I didn’t expect to graduate with a college certificate too, so it’s a bonus. I feel accomplished and think, wow, I really did that.”


Gee plans to get a job and return to college and possibly major an Anthropology. Padilla plans to join the Army and serve for 4 to 8 years and then go back to college. They both would like to earn bachelor’s degrees now that they know college success is possible. “If you try, you can really do it,” said Gee.