Gifts Change Lives

Student Testimonials


Scholarship support can affect more lives than just the recipient.

When Isaac Bonnett enrolled in the SFCC Legal Studies program at age 25, he knew he wanted “to do better” for himself and his two kids—which is why he quit his job in Las Cruces, packed up his boys, and headed north.

Isaac immediately felt the SFCC difference. He says, “The people I’ve met here, they want to help you out and show you the right way,” and he is especially grateful to the instructor who helped him “learn how to study and deal with test anxiety.”

For Isaac, scholarship support meant getting an education that will lead to a career he can be proud of instead of working a fast food job to pay the bills. “If I didn’t have these scholarships, I would not have come back to school. Because of scholarships, I can focus on my studies and put in the necessary work, as well as help take care of my sons.

He pauses, then adds: “I’ll be able to give my sons something I never had—a father who will take care of them.”


Scholarship support can turn a life around.

In 2013, Tara Duran was an addict.

The single mom from the Pojoaque Pueblo suffered from debilitating fibromyalgia, but her use of painkillers got out of control. She even lost custody of her children. Through desperation and determination, she got sober and “went through hell and back” to regain custody of her kids.

Tara knew she needed to make a massive change in her life, and thanks to scholarship support, she enrolled at Santa Fe Community College.

Still, she was scared. She could only read at a third-grade level when she was a freshman in high school. But, she says, she “worked really hard to learn to read, and now I do okay.”

In fact, Tara does better than okay. She has kept her GPA at 3.5 and higher. She and her boyfriend, a welding student, study together and keep each other on track to complete their assignments. After the kids are in bed, they stay “up until all hours working to get good grades.” Tara says, “I am so excited that I am almost to the end—I can almost taste my diploma.”

Tara will receive her associate’s degree in Controlled Environment Agriculture in spring 2019, and working in the greenhouses has brought fought-for peace and calm to her life as she learns how to earn a living growing beautiful vegetables.

For Tara, scholarship donors are part of her SFCC family. Thanks to your support, Tara was able to leave behind the dark tunnel of addiction for sunny hothouses and healthy living on her way to a productive career.


Scholarship support can lead to the American Dream.

Moustapha Idrissa hails from Niger. A naturalized U.S. citizen, his goal is to “have an impact on people who are in dire situations” in both his adopted home and his homeland.

He worked for a hydroponics farmer and then came to SFCC for formal education. Finding he was not yet eligible for aid, he immediately established a popular food cart on the Plaza while taking a full-time course load. When the SFCC Foundation heard about Moustapha’s unstoppable drive to succeed, they found a scholarship for him—just in time for his second semester.

Moustapha says that he’s grateful donors understand “how scholarships change lives—$500 can mean you don’t need to make the choice between rent and tuition.”

By December 2019, Moustapha will have earned three associate’s degrees and four certificates in subjects including greenhouse management, sustainable technologies, biofuels, solar energy, and water treatment operations.

For Moustapha, your scholarship support means that he will have the tools to make the world—his world here in New Mexico and the world of his family in Africa—a better place.