NMSU CAMP program honors graduates, special student

April 15, 2011 by Minerva Baumann, NMSU News Center

New Mexico State University’s College Assistance Migrant Program delivered a badge of honor to its students who will be graduating in May. Each of the six students going through the program, which helps migrant or seasonal farm worker students to attend college, received a CAMP stole and medallion from NMSU President Barbara Couture, to wear at graduation ceremonies May 7.

“The CAMP banquet is an annual event where we reunite with our greater CAMP family comprised of students, parents, siblings and CAMP university and community supporters to celebrate achievement,” said Cynthia Bejarano, associate professor of criminal justice and founder of the program.

“We remain inspired by CAMP students and everything they and their families have overcome, from working in the fields to attending the university.”

In addition to honoring May graduates at its annual banquet Thursday, April 14, the program also honored the parents of Sammy Gurule, a student who will not be graduating with his classmates.

“Sammy died in 2006 during his freshman year,” Bejarano said. “But his classmates wanted to honor his memory and started raising money in 2007 to create a scholarship in his name. So far they have raised $4,000. They presented a ceremonial check to his parents in honor of this scholarship.”

Sammy’s parents, Edwin and Phyllis Gurule, and their daughter Shania, traveled from the northern New Mexico community of Tres Piedras to participate in the ceremony at the University Golf Course. They received the CAMP stole and medallion on behalf of their son.

To raise additional funds for the Sammy Gurule scholarship, CAMP students are hosting an enchilada fundraiser on Saturday, April 16 at 101 Cafe West, on the first floor of Gerald Thomas Hall. For more information about this event, contact Maria Teresa Lopez at pikamari@nmsu.edu.

“Working to continue providing educational opportunities for CAMP students is an honor and a privilege,” Bejarano said. “We get to see the transformation of students take place from beginning to end and we witness students embark on their next life adventure!”

Students honored at the banquet included: Tony Bobadilla, a double major in social work and Spanish who will go on to start his master’s in social work; Ismael Escobar, double major in criminal justice and Spanish who is planning a career in law enforcement; Maria Teresa Lopez, with a degree in business administration in management with a focus in human resources, and a minor in accounting, who will be pursuing her MBA next spring; Jesus Rodriguez, who is receiving a degree in business administration and plans to stay in Las Cruces to pursue his career opportunities; Maribel Rodriguez, who will graduate with her degree in clothing textiles and fashion merchandising and is pursuing multiple job opportunities; and Fernie Sanchez, who is graduating with his degree in mechanical engineering technology and plans to join the U.S. Air Force.

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