CNM's Annual GED Graduation Ceremony Set for June 15

June 13, 2013 -- More than 220 students from throughout the area who have passed the General Educational Development (GED) exam over the past year will don caps and gowns on Saturday, June 15, and participate in the 26th annual CNM-sponsored GED graduation ceremony. The event -- one of the largest GED graduations in the country -- will be held at 10 a.m. at the Kiva Auditorium in the Albuquerque Convention Center.
July 16, 2015

“This is a proud day for these graduates. Many have faced difficult times and issues in their lives. They made the hard decision to study for and take the Official GED examination. By passing the GED exam, it has opened more doors for them,” said Stephen Sanchez, Director of CNM’s School of Adult & General Education (SAGE) Student Transitional Programs.

He noted that the number of GED graduates is up this year. The reason, he believes, is “they realize the importance of graduation and how it serves as a stepping stone to more education at the community college and university levels.” Graduates come primarily from Bernalillo County with some from the surrounding counties of Sandoval, Torrance, Valencia, Santa Fe and Socorro. Many of the graduates continue their education at CNM to pursue certificates or associate degrees.

The graduates range in age from their teens to their 50s and have one thing in common – for various reasons, they dropped out of school and later felt the need to seek a GED.

Janessa Trujillo and Lexi Volak are the two keynote speakers at this year’s graduation ceremony. Janessa says she dropped out of high school in the 10th grade after she discovered she was pregnant. Through Youth Development, Inc. (YDI), she found a full-time job in a law office where she worked for two years. By then, she knew it was time to further her education. She left the law firm in 2007 and studied on her own for the GED.

After having another baby, a second son, she decided to stay home a while to be a full-time mom. Then in 2008 she took another big leap; she started at CNM, studying in the paralegal and criminal justice programs. Just like many students, she changed majors and obtained four associate degrees – in psychology, sociology, liberal arts and general studies.

Janessa transferred to UNM and expects to finish her bachelor’s degree in criminology and psychology next year. She did all this with two boys ages six and seven who “keep me on my toes,” she said.

During her speech at the graduation ceremony she said she will talk about her situation and how, despite some rough patches, she made it through.

“It’s never too late to go back to school. It gets crazy for me at times, but all the work paid off,” Janessa said.