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Fulfilling that promise, she graduated from ENMU in May 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in communication and associates in general studies. Not only has she kept her promise, but she is continuing to expand her horizons.

“Although my was son three at the time, I felt that he knew in a way, and if not, someday when he’s older, he’ll be able to see and know that I dedicated my bachelor’s degree to him,” said Gabriela.

She did not know what she wanted to do with her career and education after having her son.

Originally, she was attending Clovis Community College, and her boss helped jump-start her success in education, which resulted in her passion to become an immigration lawyer.

Gabriela explained, “She looked at me once and said, ‘You should go to ENMU and study public relations.’ I didn’t even know what PR was, but, because of her, I came here.”

The ENMU communication program has equipped Gabriela with the hands-on, detailed, creative and critical thinking skills to succeed in a career.

“The program, and their good professors and advisors have helped prepare me, and set me on the path to become an immigration lawyer,” said Gabriela.

Currently, she is in her second semester of graduate school pursuing a master of arts in communication. She is on schedule to graduate this December.

“I had no idea I wanted to be a lawyer until a month ago… After I graduate with my masters, I want to find a full-time job in communication while I study for the LSATS to get into law school,” said Gabriela.

Her professors have been supportive, and helped her find law books and LSAT study guides at ENMU’s library.

After her parents emigrated from Mexico, Gabriela was born in Clovis, New Mexico, and has been there her entire life. She is thankful that her parents chose to stay in Clovis, 18 miles from the ENMU.

She says that she is culturally involved with her family and Mexican heritage. “My favorite aspect of ENMU is how culture can be expressed. I think that it is amazing that ENMU really invests in celebrating other cultures because it shows the importance of how they consider diversity, and you do not feel like an anonymous student here. You feel welcomed,” said Gabriela.

She works on campus in the Education Building for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

“I enjoy what I do; I learn a lot. I love to translate and speak Spanish to people at my work. I feel so much more culturally involved because of my job, and I like the people,” said Gabriela.

She is thankful for her bosses and the nurturing environment of ENMU. Her professors help accommodate her plans to travel to Mexico with her homework, and her bosses are always asking her what her plans after graduation are.

“It is a no-brainer to attend ENMU,” said Gabriela. “There is no reason not to because of the class size, the community support and the cost.”

With the affordable tuition and the proximity to her hometown, Gabriela was able to keep and exceed her promise to her son, which “means the world” to her.