Saturday’s Commencement ceremony honored the 725 graduates, who earned 874 awards (certificates and degrees). About 300 graduates and their guests filled the Pueblo Pavilion where Cindy Nava addressed the graduating class. The nationally recognized Latina motivational speaker energized the audience by concluding her speech, which was aired live on Facebook, by asking people to stand, hold and raise their hands as they made a commitment to be “positive interrupters.” She asked everyone to use their leadership skills to become an individual who interrupts negativity and to advocate for those facing adversity.
SFCC student speaker Suri Sadai (Garcia Valenzuela) Rincon, 23, similar to Nava, came to the U.S. as child from Mexico. The recipient of an Associate’s degree in Human Services said, “I’d like to share with you one piece of advice that had made a huge difference in my own life. Believe in others. Believe in their success. It doesn’t mean that this will change them; it just means that you have done your part. I am the product of people believing in me.” She plans to continue her studies in social work at New Mexico Highlands University.
Butheina Ghweir, 18, graduated with a Certificate of Academic Transfer, a week before graduating from The MASTERS program, the high school based at SFCC. She said, “My time at Santa Fe Community College has taught me that being a student is much more than just attending classes and writing papers. To be a student means to be excited about education. It means showing resilience in the face of difficulty. Most of all, it means to love learning for the sake of learning. Intellectual curiosity is not a unique characteristic, rather, it is an attitude that we all share. Everyone graduating today exemplifies this love of learning. By choosing to educate yourself, you have made the world a better place.” She plans to attend the University of New Mexico in the fall where she will study medicine and psychology. Her goal is to one day become a pediatrician. About one quarter of The MASTERS program school’s graduates earned either a certificate or associate degree.
Congratulations to all of our graduates! See festive photos and video on Facebook. Also, Santa Fe Community Television (SFCTV-16 on Comcast) will air the graduation ceremonies Tuesday, May 16 at 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 17 at 10 a.m., Friday, May 19 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 22 at 1 p.m. DVDs will be available for free 30 days after graduation at the SFCC Bookstore.