Outstanding Colorado Mountain College students honored for service, excellence, hard work
SPRING VALLEY, Colorado – It’s a moment Jorge Alvarado has been waiting for. But it is also a moment that he worked so long for, too. And on Saturday, the moment finally came. Alvarado received an associate degree with an emphasis in business from Colorado Mountain College during a graduation ceremony Saturday at the college’s Roaring Fork campus near Glenwood Springs. About 65 students were at the graduation ceremony.
“I really thought it was going to be hard, and it has been,” said Alvarado, 21. “It’s been really tough, but it’s been really rewarding to know that I am almost done.”It’s been a difficult road to graduation for Alvarado. He’s worked a full-time construction job while he went to school. But despite that, he has been active in Phi Theta Kappa – an academic honor society organization – and has played on the college’s soccer team and been its team manager, Alvarado said. “When you take some time to think about it, you are like, ‘Oh my God,’ you know,” Alvarado said. “It is a great accomplishment because nobody in my family has a degree in college, so I am really proud of it. My parents are so proud of it.”Alvarado has been active with other CMC clubs and will be the keynote speaker for the upcoming Latino Youth Summit, which is going to be held at the CMC Roaring Fork campus.Alvarado’s efforts earned him the David Allen Memorial Outstanding Student Award. Also earning the accolade was Angela Boyer, a single mother who has taken a full load of classes, volunteered her time in the community and also been active in Phi Theta Kappa.
Boyer graduated with an associate of general studies degree and an associate of applied science degree with an emphasis in business.”It’s been a real long haul,” Boyer, 29, said of her graduation. “It is so surreal. I don’t know. I don’t think it has really hit me yet.”Boyer said that before she went to school, she worked three jobs at one time to make enough money to pay off debts and put enough money aside so she could complete her journey to Saturday’s graduation.”I wanted everything in line,” Boyer said. “I wanted to be there for my son and go from there.”During the ceremony, Boyer spoke to the graduates, telling them, “Here’s to what your dreams may be.”Here is to the graduating class of 2008! Congratulations,” she yelled.
Both Alvarado and Boyer were nominated for the awards by Jessica Lorah, a statistics instructor at CMC. Steve White, Alvarado’s soccer coach at CMC, also nominated him for the award.Lorah wrote that the more she has gotten to know Boyer, the more “impressed I am with all she’s done to get to graduation.””She’s a single mom, has received several scholarships for academic achievement, and has volunteered her time for a local nonprofit in the community, all while carrying a full load of classes,” Lorah wrote. “She always offered to help other students in my class who were struggling, and always had a smile and kind words for all of us as we slogged through a very tough subject.”As for Alvarado, Lorah wrote that he has done “phenomenally well” in a difficult class conducted in English, which is not his first language. Lorah wrote that Alvarado is always willing to help others in class, even “translating what I’ve said into Spanish for another student to better help him understand.”In another letter of recommendation for Alvarado, White wrote that he has watched “Jorge develop into a confident yet humble individual that has an exceptional focus and work ethic.””As his coach, I was able to depend on him to train hard and lead his teammates by example,” White wrote. “His performance on the field was exceptional, but most important he was able to keep perspective that his performance in the classroom was his true purpose at CMC.”
Although Alvarado and Boyer both have a degree in their hands, they aren’t thinking about stopping their education.Boyer has been accepted by the University of Denver to complete her bachelor’s degree. However, she might decide to stay in the area because of her son and take classes online.
“With the skills that I have gained, now I feel like anything is possible,” Boyer said.Alvarado also doesn’t want to stop his education.”I want to keep going and get my bachelor’s,” Alvarado said. “I have the enthusiasm to go forward and give back to the community. I’m excited for what’s next.”Contact Phillip Yates: firstname.lastname@example.orgPost Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
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