Student Testimonials


Human Services Students Are Making A Difference!

Joey Jimenez Jr

I have the confidence to put my skills to work with my degree from SFCC.
Joey Jimenez Jr.

” I feel as though it has given me a broader perspective within myself and of my surroundings. I have developed a new set of skills and abilities in listening, communication, and social interaction. In addition, the desire to have healthier relationships and connections with family, people, and whomever I come in contact with.

The Human Service program is unique and takes a unique person to have the passion and motivation to involve yourself with the study of human service. You don’t have to be a perfect person to want to help people nor do you have to be an expert on the concept. It is simple. Listen, feel, and be able to be in the moment. “

After graduation, Joey plans to pursue his Bachelor’s in Social Work and further education in the field. Ultimately, he is looking for a passionate and rewarding career which will enable him to support himself and his family.

Edward DavidsonThe SFCC human services program provides a strong foundation and a wonderful vision into what the field of social work offers.
Edward Davidson

“The professors are passionate, caring and offer tremendous support and insight, giving students a well-rounded groundwork of knowledge to pursue their dreams.

This program has nurtured within me a stronger sense of self-awareness, confidence and opportunity to build interpersonal skills and the ability to obtain the critical thinking skills necessary to advance in this field. It has offered many opportunities to work with different agencies in an internship capacity to have a truly hands-on exposure in the field of social work.

Students who enroll in this program can look forward to building a strong cohort relationship; in my class we generally started together at the same time at SFCC, and many of us have transitioned into New Mexico Highlands University together. In having this core of fellow students I have found that when I face challenges, I can expect support and comradeship that is always helpful during those times.”

Edward plans to continue his education, working toward his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work through New Mexico Highlands University at the Santa Fe Higher Education Center.

Claire SchneiderThe program taught me about communication, boundaries, and immigrant issues. All of these features directly relate to my current job.
Claire Schneider

“The human services program offers a valuable practical and theoretical foundation to the helping professions, which can be applied to a wide variety of work environments. It is also relevant for less obvious human services professions, such as teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). It helps students increase their awareness about various needs in our community, and focus on how we can contribute professionally.

The internships provided an excellent opportunity to obtain work experience. I also gained insights into local social service organizations after completing numerous assignments in the community. The Group Process class gave me the skills and confidence to set up and facilitate two eating disorder support groups in Santa Fe.

Claire works as an English as a Second Language instructor in the Adult Education Department at SFCC, and is a Support Group Leader for the non-profit National Association of Anorexia and Associated Disorders (ANAD). She is interested in obtaining a Master of Arts in TESOL.

April GarciaGoing through the human services program has given me the passion and motivation to pursue this career.
Andrea Griego

“I am pursuing a degree in human services with a concentration in family studies. I have known since I was 19 that I wanted to work with families and kids. I learned so much from the interactive classroom environments in the human services program at SFCC, but I learned the most through the hands-on training and hearing different perspectives from my fellow classmates. All of my teachers were very helpful in helping us explore career options and getting to know who you are and what you want to do.

If you are passionate about helping people and want to reach out into the community this is the right program for you. The faculty are great and they encourage group projects and experience.”

After graduation, Andrea will study for her B.A. in family studies through an online program while she works full time. Then her plan is to earn master’s degree in psychology and counseling.

April GarciaThe human services program helped me grow in my own life and sobriety so I could support others’ recovery.
April M. Garcia

“I want to help other people because I’ve been through it myself. As a recovering addict, I know how hard it can be to move forward with your life. Now I have a baby, she’s two-and-a-half and I want to continue my recovery for her. The human services program is great, but you’ve got to be serious because it’s a lot of studying and time. I’ve worked so long and so hard to get where I am now and I feel proud of my accomplishments.”

April is working as an intern with Healthy Homes through Life Links in Santa Fe. She does peer support, reception and intake, and attends staff meetings to learn about the dynamics of working with clients. She would like to continue with Life Links after graduation.

Maxine VigilIn the human services program I’ve learned to understand the problems of drugs and alcohol and how they affect people in different environments.
Maxine M. Vigil

“Being in human services helped me through the loss of my father, who passed away from alcohol abuse. This program was like therapy through my grieving process. It helped me realize that I wasn’t alone at the time and that there were other people who could relate to my story.

It is never too late to get a degree and to keep on pushing for what you want. The human services program can help you in a variety of careers and can benefit you in everyday life. I have learned something from each and every class I’ve taken, and the instructors really want to help us achieve our goals.”

Joan MurphyMy classes at SFCC have prepared me to work in the field in a professional manner.
Joan Murphy

“I have learned so much about the need for people in the human services professions. I’ve learned that in order to be responsive to clients or others I need self-awareness, boundaries and a caring, compassionate attitude. Additionally, I feel prepared to go on to further my education.

The faculty at Santa Fe Community College is very nurturing. I have always been encouraged by my professors to do the best work that I can. It has been rewarding to attend a college where the students are made to feel like they’re a part of the institution. Doing internships to prepare for future work has been a great experience.”

Joan is currently interning at Ambercare Hospice assisting with the care of an 84-year-old woman with heart disease, and at Many Mothers, with a 23-year-old single mother with identical twin girls. She plans to continue her education; either earning her LADAC or AA in Psychology at SFCC or continuing at Highlands University in the social work program.

MichelleTrujilloI am able to utilize the skills and theories from the classroom in my everyday life.
Michelle N. Trujillo

“I will be graduating in the fall of 2013 with my AA in human services. The courses required for this degree have benefited me in both a professional and personal level. My concentration is in Traumatic Stress, which covers the crisis intervention and coping strategies that I use in my internship as a crisis advocate with Solace Crisis Treatment Center.

This is an amazing program (Kudos to Dr. Maria Santa-Maria!) and I would like to encourage others to take the first step toward improving the social support within our community. We have been given an opportunity to empower those in need and this program is where it all begins.”

Michelle plans to work towards a bachelor’s degree in either Psychology or Counseling. Her goal is to become a crisis intervention counselor or traumatic stress counselor dealing with children.

Marck RomeroBecause of the human services program, I can inspire clients to fulfill their own passions and ambitions.
Marck Romero

I am currently working on qualifying as a LADAC (Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor). I chose this course of study because I am in recovery from alcoholism myself (3 years clean and sober) and I know that I can help to make a difference in the lives of those who wish to be free of this malady.

I have worked under the most marvelous and inspiring instructors who have imprinted their knowledge in my brain. I have also acquired a strong sense of confidence and resilience. In the spring of 2012 I made the Dean’s List, which revealed a new rite of passage for me. I am currently a practicum at The Santa Fe Recovery Center. Over three years ago, I was a client at the center, and now I have come full circle. There is hope, and people can change.

Samantha LuceroI have learned how to be more compassionate towards people and now have the confidence to help the community.
Samantha Lucero

This is an amazing opportunity to learn new things about how people function throughout life, and there is no better instructor than Dr. Santa-Maria. She will guide you through the program step-by-step to ensure that you graduate on time. I am doing an internship for Adult Protective Services, where I learn to speak to clients by observing phone counseling with vulnerable adults. The internship relates to what I also study in my classes, so the two go hand in hand with one another. It feels good to know that I am making a difference in my community.


Hali calzadillasI’ve learned how to deal with people and how to take care of myself through my classes at SFCC.
Hali Calzadillas

“The first thing I would like to do is thank my advisor Dr. Santa Maria because she always kept me through the right path. This program is great experience for what it’s like to be in the helping professions. There are hands on involvement when you do the internships. I’ve learned how to deal with people and how to take care of myself as well because sometimes working in the field of being a helper can be overwhelming.”

Hali plans to transfer to UNM and earn her bachelor’s degree in psychology. Her goal is to be a child psychologist or a marriage counselor.

Monica Brito The human services program at SFCC has changed forever how I view the world.
Monica L. Brito

The human services program has benefitted me in so many ways—it has broadened my perspective on the helping services and shown me what I can do to make an impact and become more aware of the needs of others around me. This program enriched me on both a personal level and a professional level. It made me want to become a leader in my community as well as on my campus. The class structure also paves the way for focus on success not only in the degree program, but in life. It prepared me to work in the field immediately.

The day after graduation I was pleased to receive a job offer in my field. I am proud to say that Dr. Santa Maria has prepared me to handle such a daunting task and because of what I learned in the Human Services Program I know I can handle this job with confidence.”

Monica Archuleta My volunteer work in the Human Services program educated me about issues in our community.
Monica Archuleta

“I have enjoyed the human services classes and learned a lot of useful information that I know I will carry with me in all I do. Through doing volunteer work, I have had the opportunity to work in a diverse environment with people who are struggling with substance abuse, mental health, and financial problems. It has helped me to gain perspective on the types of concerns facing communities and provided me with the knowledge to assist others when they are facing these problems.

It’s a great program and Dr. Santa Maria is very supportive and encouraging. Through this program you will gain understanding and appreciation while developing the skills necessary to make a difference in the lives of others and ultimately in the community.”

Barb MascarenasI could never have imagined the scope of work covered by Human Services before my classes at SFCC.
Barb Mascarenas

“I have learned so much about the services available to citizens who need help. The focus of my attention has been on the elderly population and their concerns. Unfortunately, our society has gaps that need to be filled in human services. I’m thankful for a program that makes obtaining the necessary education available to meet those human service needs.

I would encourage you to follow your heart when thinking about a degree in human services. The reward of helping someone obtain services that he/she is entitled to, and then seeing that person succeed in their lives is completely wonderful. I can’t think of another field that would give me such a good feeling for my hard work.”

alma Iglesias The Human Services program at SFCC showed me the resources and tools available in Santa Fe.
Alma C. Iglesias Chaparro

“The human services program is a great start for those who like to help others and for those who are compassionate. It has benefited me in a brilliant way; I have mastered my skills in the helping professions, I have gained experience and it made me be aware of the need in the community.

If you like to be involved in the community and you also like to help, consider the human services program at SFCC, it is a great start and will teach you great experiences. You will grow not only as a student but as a human by caring for others.”

Carmella QuamI’ve enhanced my community outreach skills through my classes at SFCC.
Carmella Quam

“I started the program after working in the field of social work for more than 13 years. In 2008 I got a “personal reality check” after I was turned down for a position not because I had no work experience in the field but because I didn’t have a social work degree. I had started as a personal care attendant and worked my way up to managing a satellite office for an independent living center with a staff of five. At age 44 I decided to return to school to start my journey into obtaining a degree; the fear of not knowing what I was getting myself into was a journey in itself.

After taking most of my core classes and meeting with my human services advisor, I realized that I would be okay. Through the program I have come to realize that one of my strengths in social work is doing research on resources and services available, and matching individuals with the services that they need. I have been able to enhance my skills in the areas of outreach and collaboration through my classes here at SFCC.

I would encourage any student to go back to school; whether the student is young or old, a traditional or non-traditional student, who may have a desire or passion for helping others, enhancing one’s life or assisting in empowering an individual to find their own path in life.”

 Patricia AbatemarcoI got the real-life experience I needed with my internship through SFCC.
Patricia Abatemarco

“The human services program has not only taught me the skills necessary to begin working in the field; it has provided me with both the confidence and the contacts I needed.

The program is a nice size; classes aren’t too large. This allows you to build relationships with the other students. The instructors are very supportive and the classroom structure encourages the free exchange of ideas. The internships are a great way to ‘test your wings’ in the community and provide valuable real life experience.”

Scott BarryMy classes at SFCC have been directly applicable to real-life situations.
Scott Barry

“I would encourage people to pursue an associate degree in human services at SFCC as a stepping stone to higher education. This degree alone opens SO many doors to rewarding careers. The human services field is very diverse and full of opportunities. The professors at the college have been amazing and I have made numerous contacts at the college that I will take with me into my professional career. Your experience at the college will help you focus on a particular aspect of human services that interests you!”


Lydia BerlinMy classes at SFCC confirmed my understanding of what it means to be a helper.
Lydia Berlin

“The human services program is a great start and foundation to work from. It has the diversity to apply to whatever field or career you hope to pursue. The well-rounded classes prepare you with sufficient knowledge to handle situations you might face in your professional career.”



Susan CooperMy degree from SFCC taught me to help others face real challenges.
Susan Cooper

“I graduated in December 2006 with my AA in human services. I transferred into New Mexico Highlands University’s social work program in the fall of 2007 and quickly realized how well prepared and confident I had become from my classes at SFCC. So much of what I was learning at NMHU I had already covered at SFCC and it really solidified and reinforced important aspects of social work and human service-related work. I became far more self-reflective and aware of my own strengths and limitations.

Take advantage of your two years at SFCC and consider the areas of focus in the human services field that you plan to follow. If you have interests in working in schools, consider taking electives that can be applied to certification in becoming a prevention specialist. If you are interested in drug education, take classes that can be applied towards your LADAC. The instructors at SFCC take an interest in their students and they are always available to speak with you about any concerns you have.

My first priority and passion is being a mom. I have enjoyed the freedom and flexibility of being a student because it lends itself well to being a parent. As a single mother I have always found time to volunteer at school and with after school activities. We study together at night – it’s perfect.”

Joaquin CordovaI’m serving my community thanks to my degree from SFCC.
Joaquin Cordova

“Being in the human services program was such a great experience and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in getting a degree. If not for the Human Services program I would never have received my Bachelor of Social Work degree from New Mexico Highlands University. The program has given me the skills to think and to not be afraid to go after my full potential. It also showed me the importance we play in the lives of the populations we serve.

Take full advantage of the education and opportunities that it gives you. Not many people have a chance to get the education you are receiving; nobody will do it but you.”

Celedina CossMy classes at SFCC helped me choose a career that was truly for me.
Celedina Coss

“The human services program at SFCC has provided me with a well-rounded education in the different aspects of human services, and given me a better understanding of the greater picture. This is a good way to get your feet wet and discover if the helping professions are truly for you. What you learn in Dr. Santa Maria’s classes can be invaluable no matter what course in life you choose.

The program has helped me in my job at the Santa Fe Rape Crisis and Trauma Treatment Center. In my job as an Education and Prevention Specialist, I serve Santa Fe and the surrounding areas, talking to children, youth and adults about sexual violence and ways to prevent it.”

Juan Carlos DeosesWith my degree from SFCC I have a profession doing what I love.
Juan Carlos Deoses

“The program has made me aware of the many opportunities to move forward in the field of social work. One of the greatest benefits is that I was able to connect and stay in touch with organizations and agencies in my community that will be useful resources in the future. I have gathered a valuable knowledge base for my profession.

If your passion is helping others in your community and you want a profession doing what you love to do every day, then look into the human services program at SFCC.

Currently, I am a community organizer for Somos Un Pueblo Unido, an immigrant rights organization based in Santa Fe. I’ve been a Student Ambassador for SFCC for two years and as part of my internship I’m the assistant coordinator for the program. I am also an intern with the Intensive Community Monitoring program (ICM) for the state of New Mexico.”

Alma GallegosI can have an impact on others’ lives with my degree from SFCC.
Alma Gallegos

“The human services program at SFCC is excellent; it has taught me how to help others by being there and listening to them. I always knew I wanted to help others but I didn’t know in what aspect of life; thanks to the program I have a new direction.

I am currently doing an internship at the Hoy Recovery Center in Espanola, working with substance abuse inpatients. My internship has helped me narrow down which aspect of Human Services I want to pursue.”

Kenia GallegosMy degree from SFCC showed me how to find the resources to help others in need.
Kenia Gallegos

“Being in this program has reinforced my career goals; I am now sure that this is the field I want to be in. The human services program has also taught me a lot about myself. I was able to learn what my strengths and weaknesses are and work on them.

I recommend this program for those people who like to help others and their community. The teachers are great, you get to meet new people, create friendships, and connect with people and agencies that you can refer to in the future. The internship is a great way to begin your journey and gain the experience necessary to continue your education.”

Carlos GonzalesMy degree from SFCC taught me how to help others help themselves.
Carlos Gonzales

“The experience of becoming a student again at age 32 was very difficult; however, it has molded my work habits along with my personal habits. I have become much more organized and socially aware of the need for helpers in the community. My professor is very thorough and compassionate in her approach to becoming a helper.

This program is designed to help you find a purpose. Through different interactions with outside agencies, you are able to see the wide variety of helper positions and roles. The possibilities are endless as to the types of careers open in this field. If you love helping people to help themselves you are in the right place.”

Danielle JimenezEmployers started calling after I got my degree from SFCC.
Danielle Jimenez

“Besides the seeds of infinite wisdom that Dr. Santa-Maria planted in my mind (eg. Ducks never stay in a row; change is inevitable, growth is optional) and the practical knowledge gained from the courses such as group therapy techniques, self-care options, and case management, the human services program made me extremely marketable as a potential employee.

In fact, I posted my resume online for recruiters to search before I started the program but received no replies. Two days after graduation, I secured very gainful employment working as an outreach representative for a national private company that contracts with state human service programs.

This is a great program to add to your existing education for the marketability that it brings to your resume. It is also a good program to go into if you know you want to help others but you’re not exactly sure what you want to do with that desire.”

Maureen JohnsonMy SFCC degree helped me to put my love of volunteering to work.
Maureen Johnson

“The Human Services program is geared to produce loving, giving, non-judgmental professionals and caregivers, who will contribute much to our aging population. As a Hospice volunteer, the program tremendously broadened my world-view. I was in my 60s when I joined the program and graduated. Prior to taking the required classes for a human services degree, I was a person who loved volunteering but did not have the knowledge to compliment my desire to help and understand others.

As the Baby Boomers age, health and human services professionals will be in great demand. Having a mentor like Dr. Santa-Maria assures a qualified population of students in the State of New Mexico and beyond. I would encourage the students in Human Services to go beyond their Associate’s degree and be our future human services providers.”

Sabine LebowMy instructors at SFCC helped me to believe that I could succeed.
Sabine LeBow

“In 1991, I went to SFCC and got my GED and started taking classes slowly as my work schedule allowed. The instructors at the college encouraged me and helped me to believe that I could succeed in school and have a successful career.

The Human Services program prepares students to enter into the field and provides them with the knowledge to continue with higher-level education. The instructors are highly experienced in the field and teach both theory and practice. The program helped me to become a better person as I grew to understand psychology.”

Lydia LeybaMy life experience and my degree from SFCC make me a mentor for others.
Lydia Leyba

“When I retired I knew I still wanted to be busy, and I’ve always felt the desire to help people. The Human Services program is a perfect fit because it has given me a greater awareness of the community needs here in Santa Fe.

This is a wonderful program. Dr. Santa-Maria is always available for her students, offering encouragement and praise. Her classes are taught with hands-on exercises that have been helpful in the many areas of Human Services.”

Dennis McCutcheonI can help people through their life’s transitions with my degree from SFCC.  Dennis McCutcheon

“I am very fortunate to have found a degree that leads to a career doing what I love to do. When I found out that I would be able to return to school it took a semester to decide on a major. I asked myself, ‘What do I want to do regardless of money or responsibilities?’ My answer was that I would like to travel, get to know people and help those in need. The human services degree along with my plans to go on to a Master’s in social work is a perfect fit.

This program has been a great first step in my career plans. I have gained much and I have given much. If you like working with people, consider a career in the helping professions. There are so many directions that you can take in this field. If this catches your curiosity and resonates with you in some way, look into it.”

Dana McIntoshMy classes at SFCC made me a better advocate for people in need.
Dana McIntosh

“I had worked as a volunteer in the field of human services for a decade, but without any formal training. The courses I have taken have given me more self-confidence in my ability to deal properly with people who have problems such as drug/alcohol addiction, sexual abuse, poverty, child abuse and mental disorders.

I would definitely recommend the Human Services program to anyone who is interested in working in the helping professions. Dr. Maria Santa-Maria has developed a theoretical yet concrete curriculum that gives the student practical knowledge that can be applied at once.

Currently, I work as a volunteer at the Santa Fe Rape Crisis and Trauma Treatment Center in their front office and as a hotline advocate. I am also working with the agency’s Board and other volunteers organizing fundraisers for the Center.”

Anna MontoyaI learned compassion and understanding for others through my classes at SFCC.
Anna Victoria Montoya

“The Human Services program at Santa Fe Community College has allowed me to gain an overall better outlook on my life. Much of the material gave me insight to who I really am and who I’m striving to be. It also gave me a better understanding of the everyday issues many individuals have to live through. It taught me how to be more understanding and compassionate toward others. You never really know what battles they may be fighting within themselves.

The Human Services program is a great start to many interesting and fulfilling careers. It arms you with tools that are required in almost any career that involves interaction with society. If you would like to gain overall knowledge of social issues, I highly recommend this program.”

Anna MontoyaI made life-long friends in my classes at SFCC.
Caroline Montoya

“Being in the human services program has boosted my confidence and given me the ability to recognize my own self worth. I would tell other students to take advantage of the interaction with other students in your classes; not only does it provide open doors but can give you new insight and life-long friends.”



Anthony MoyaI’m exploring diverse pathways to service with my degree from SFCC.
Anthony Moya

“This program is perfect for anyone who has the passion in life to help others. The field of human services gives students so many opportunities to grow and explore different paths as opposed to being tied down to one particular genre of study with other degrees. The college has done a great job in bringing an instructor with the same philosophy that all her students share and that has greatly increased my chances of being successful not only in the work field, but also in life.

My time here at SFCC has allowed me to pursue many different avenues in the field of human services. I’ve made several contacts through Dr. Santa-Maria and through my internship course that will help me when I graduate and pursue a career.”

Monica RomeroMy degree from SFCC gave me the gift of helping others.
Monica Romero

“I was one of the first students to receive a traumatic aide certificate.

The human services program at SFCC is outstanding! It helped me to discover the person I was always striving to be. I knew I wanted to help others and to make a difference in people’s lives, and this program has given me the confidence, knowledge and skills to do so. There is not a better gift then helping others who are in need and making a difference!

If you have a passion to help others, this is defiantly the program for you. Dr. Maria Santa-Maria is always there to give you the encouragement that you need when times get tough and is always understanding when, as she says, “life happens!”

Laurel Shafter With my degree from SFCC I’ll have the confidence to take on my new career.
Laurel Shafter

“I have been working in my field since 2008 in the Adult Basic Education Department at SFCC. My job is more human services-related than I expected it to be – students may come here with challenges such as learning disabilities and problems at home. Their issues come from deeper levels than just the academic.

I would definitely recommend the Human Services program to any student who has a desire to make a difference in other people’s lives. I found the advisory support very helpful; and the classes necessary to receive my associate degree were interesting and informative.

The program provided me with the necessary tools to move forward with confidence and knowledge in the career field I’ll be entering. My goal is to work in domestic violence prevention and counseling through Esperanza Shelter.”

Mushobwe Shimilimo I’m breaking down cultural barriers with my degree from SFCC.
Mushobwe Shimilimo

“I am an international student at Santa Fe Community College. When I first came here my intention was to study criminal justice. After talking with an advisor, I learned that I could still work with criminal related issues with a degree in human services. In the program, I have learned different ways of overcoming stressful situations while helping people. It is very therapeutic to make a difference in someone’s life. It feels as though I have a purpose to be here – I never knew helping others could make one’s life so fulfilling.

I would like to encourage other students to look into the Human Service program because there is so much anyone can do with this degree. In this profession you can learn new languages and work with people from different cultures. A degree in Human Services can also be essential in a corrections department or clinical environment because the information learned is applicable to these fields.”

Samia van HattumThe skills I learned at SFCC are helping refugees start new lives.
Samia van Hattum

“The Human Services program and my education at SFCC prepared me to transfer to a university setting and gave me the skills and self confidence I needed to succeed in higher education. When I began my third-year social work classes at Saint Louis University, I found I had already learned much of the material being covered in my classes at SFCC.

The Human Services program at SFCC will give you the educational foundation and skills needed to continue your education in the human services fields. I found my professors to be highly supportive, not only of my education at SFCC, but also my continued pursuits after I graduated.”

Jolie von OgdenI have the confidence to put my skills to work with my degree from SFCC.
Jolie von Ogden

“SFCC’s human services program really prepared me to enter the human services field. The curriculum was very broad and gave me ample opportunity to choose the direction I wanted to apply my degree. The staff at SFCC was caring, attentive and available to help me become successful.

Because of my degree, I am eligible to apply for a license to become a Substance Abuse Associate Counselor. I am very grateful to have been given the opportunity to be on the path of doing what I love.

Back to Human Services program page.