By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer
Among the 38 certificates and degrees handed out on Friday at Mesalands Community College’s commencement ceremonies will be a posthumous Business Administration associcates degree to the family of Tonie Martinez.
Martinez died in a single-car accident on Nov. 1, 2014 on State Highway 469 near Logan.
Martinez had enrolled at Mesalands in the spring of 2012 to earn her Associates of Applied Scinence in Business Administration. Martinez had earned enough credit to graduate in the fall of 2014.
While the posthumous degree is a somber event for the family and staff of Mesalands, the school also will honor 37 graduates who have been working to further their futures.
One of those graduates is the student speaker, 21-year-old Cynthia Anaya.
Anaya said graduating on Friday is another step closer to completing a journey that began at Mesalands five years ago.
Anaya said that in 2010, she had dropped out of high school because she was pregnant with her first son, Tommy Cordova. She said later that year she decided to attend Mesalands to get her General Education Degree.
“Once I had completed my GED, I was compelled to continue my education at Mesalands,” Anaya said.
Anaya said she completed one semester at Mesalands but the duties of raising a new baby and attending classes was too hard, so she opted out of attending a second semester.
Then in 2013, Anaya said she welcomed her second son, Adrian Cordova Jr. She said while giving birth she was comforted, supported and inspired by a nurse whose name she could not remember.
“It was then that I realized that I wanted to make a difference like that nurse had done for me,” Anaya said. “I wish I could remember her name so I could thank her for all she has done.”
Anya returned to Mesalands in the fall of 2013 and has completed enough course credits to graduate Friday with a pre-nursing certificate. She said she plans to return to Mesalands in the fall to join their certified nursing assistant (CNA) and phlebotomy program next year.
Graduation: at 6 p.m., Friday at the Tucumcari Convention Center.
The San Jon High School will also be holding its commencement ceremonies at 7 p.m., Friday at San Jon High School.
Seven seniors are graduating from SJH: Chelsea Benally, Dylan Bryant, Gage Conway, Brittany Bobbitt, Jazmine Reed, Kristina Crane and Katie Bates.