SFCC honors High School Equivalency, I-BEST Graduates

Depending on life’s circumstances, and often in the face of multiple challenges, it can take students looking to finish high school anywhere from two months to as much as 10 years to earn their equivalency certificate. Acknowledging this persistence, SFCC is pleased to celebrate the more than 45 graduates of the High School Equivalency Certificate  and the I-BEST (Integrated Basic Education Skills Training) programs.

The I-BEST Program is nationally recognized for providing students the support they need to earn credentials, improve their skills and land a good job. They learn job skills while they improve their reading, writing, and math. They also can work toward a high school credential, if needed. Graduates of the program are prepared to pursue a career in a field that’s in demand locally. The credits are built into the requirements for an associate degree, in case they decide to continue their education. This approach saves time and money. This year’s I-BEST graduates earned certificates in Certified Nursing Assistant and Early Childhood Development.

“We’re so proud of the hard work of all of these graduates,” said Kristen Krell, Academic Career Education Manager. “While we were unable to host a ceremony at this time, we plan to invite these graduates back for a future ceremony once the pandemic has eased and conditions permit.”

See a list of all the 2019-2020 graduates and read some of their stories below. For those interested, SFCC is offering online GED testing in July and HiSet testing in August. For more information, please visit the Testing Center.

High School Equivalency Graduates

Eduardo Athie Ramirez
Nubia Avalos
Beverly Bell
Caleb Cardenas
Shamera Cheykaychi
Dina Dominguez Cruz
Alan Early
Brenda Enriquez
Noemi Esquer
Sevan Gossin Cross
Micah Herrera
Elijah Honey
Avalon Hutto
Valerie Jaber
Tania Loya Valladares
Mariah Lujan

Miles Malone
Shantel Martinez
Stacy Martinez
Alexandra Montano
Freida Nevarez
Richard Oellien
Emilia Rodriguez
Maria Rodriguez
Yolanda Rodriguez Galindo
Crystal Romero
Vannah Romero
John Shaw
Rosa Trevizo
Lisa Urioste
Noah Velazquez

“I’m doing rather well all things considered! I have been in college at SFCC since I graduated and completed my GED. My major is in IT, particularly networking and security. I’m studying Japanese in tandem with the IT courses so that I may do the IT work there. I’ve been taking my courses at the community college!”  

~ Eli Honey


“For the past year I have been working as a full time Administrator in training at Vista Hermosa, while also attending the SFCC I-BEST program, allowing me to pursue my High School Equivalency (HSE) while working on my Certified Nursing Assistant certificate. It was rough, and at one point I started to doubt myself. Having the support from my boss, my family, and my HSE instructor Ed as well as the desire of becoming a good role model for my boys, motivated me to not give up. After I successfully obtained my CNA certificate, I began to work towards my administrator’s license in assisted living and continued to work on my HSE. The day I learned I had passed my last HSE test and saw my diploma, I was speechless. I had doubted myself so many times, but to see my diploma made all the long stressful days, worth it. A few months later I successfully obtained my Administrators License for Assisted Living. I am proud to announce that along with the Executive Director at Vista Hermosa, I help with the operation of the facility. My goal is to become a Registered Nurse and continue to do what I enjoy the most, help others.”

~Yolanda Rodriguez Galindo

I-BEST Graduates

Certified Nursing Assistant

Sujey Batiz
Ralph Hermosilla
Glenda Hogan
Zuwena Islam
Anjoli Lucero
Mariah Lujan
Evelyn Ortega
Yajaira Hernandez Saenz
Natalie Solis
Tia Sullivan
George Terrado

Early Childhood Development

Brenda Fernandez
Johana Martinez
Daria Matakovich
Carmen Rivera

“The I-BEST Certified Nursing Assistant Certificate program was great for me. Coming from Kenya to Santa Fe, I feel it opened up a lot of opportunities for my future. I was able to obtain a college certificate and am currently working to complete my High School Equivalency. This program met my needs and helped prepare me for my dream of continuing my education to become a nurse.”
~ Zuwena Islam
I-BEST – Certified Nursing Assistant

“The I-BEST Early Childhood Development Certificate Program gave me the opportunity to obtain a college certificate while working on my High School Equivalency. The program is very flexible, the awesome teachers provided excellent direction and advising. I improved my academic skills and gained valuable experience working at Kids Campus as a Teacher’s Aid. I feel it has prepared me to achieve my future goals of completing my High School Equivalency and becoming an early childhood educator.”
~. Brenda Fernandez
I-BEST – Early Childhood Development