You Got This! Azucena Garcia


Tell me about your background — your family, goals, personal interests.

I’m a 25-year-old mother. I’m married. I went to school full-time and maintained a full-time job. It was hard, but I did it. I commuted the whole time — drove or took the Rail Runner. I graduated in December with an Associate’s Degree, then got licensed and began working as a respiratory therapist. I’m continuing my education with a Bachelor’s degree in respiratory care.

Why did you choose SFCC?

I chose SFCC because of their success rate — the number of graduates in my program and how successful they are in passing their licensure. Also because number of scholarships that are available. I didn’t get any financial aid such as loans. The SUN PATH program connected me with the WIOA, which paid for my tuition and books. They also helped me prepare for interviews and connect with individuals in my field. Also, I was in student government — I was paid to be a senator, which helped. I’d been part of student government since middle school, and my instructor told me a senator position was open.

Are you attending classes during the day? At night?

Mainly day, but clinicals vary per semester. Some are graveyard shift. With clinicals, we go to hospitals like UNMH, Lovelace and CSV and learn respiratory therapy hands-on. We do rotations in the ICU, pediatrics, the ER.

Tell me about your experience at SFCC. Was it what you expected? How was it different?

My experience has been great. The campus is beautiful. The many programs they offer was impressive. I like the small classroom size, and my communication with my instructors has been very convenient. I didn’t consider any other schools.

Have you used any of SFCC’s student support services? (Counseling, tutoring, help for veterans?) Did they help?

I did use tutoring. Tutors in the respiratory program helped me pass my exams.

Did you face any obstacles to completing your education? What kinds (financial, scheduling, emotional support)?

Yes, it was a very stressful time for me. Even though my tuition was covered, I had child care to consider, and I was separated from my family. I commuted from Las Lunas — an hour and 30 minutes each way. You need support when you’re spending that much time away from your family.

What advice would you give to a prospective or current SFCC student?

I would definitely choose SFCC to start off. It’s affordable for students who plan to pay out of pocket. They have till the end of the semester to pay for classes — the deadline isn’t the first week. And the support system is amazing. Even if you have to take one class at a time, keep going.

Go back to read another’s story!