The Compass Blog:
Monty Mangum  
Monty Mangum exuded a readiness and eagerness to speak to his peers as he approached the podium for his graduation address. His tassel waved back and forth as he took glances from his speech to the crowd. The road leading to this moment had been an arduous one for Monty. While he had been an exceptional and diligent student at Santa Fe Community College, his academic journey had been anything but straightforward.“I hit a point in my life that made me not want to give much of an effort. I’d start to try hard but I’d lose motivation really quickly,” says Monty. “I never really finished assignments or projects with my best effort.”

Monty went to high school in a small town in southern Utah after moving from Texas before his freshmen year. After graduating and a two year church mission program he attended a college in Central Utah while working full time. It was too much to sustain so Monty moved to New Mexico where his parents were now living. “My computer broke and it just became too much. I kind of rolled over and let my grades tank the last four weeks [of the semester]. ” 

The encouragement and inspiration to start over and enroll in class at SFCC came from Monty’s then girlfriend, now wife. She was nearing the end of her bachelor degree requirements, eyeing gradation and the opportunities that awaited her as a college graduate. Monty knew he had what it took to excel in college. He just needed the motivation to get going again.

He enrolled in a summer class after switching majors during a school transfer and received a call to be a student employee for the Santa Fe Community College Foundation.  “Working with Kelly at the Foundation gave me the motivation to succeed. They also gave me time for homework so I always stayed on top of it and I just ended up excelling from there.” 

Monty exemplifies the transformative potential of community college and seizing opportunities. Life often requires ample time to smooth out its wrinkles. During his tenure, Monty emerged as an integral figure within the Foundation. By leveraging financial aid and scholarships, he efficiently utilized the Foundation’s secured funding to alleviate the financial strain associated with returning to college.“The funding from the Foundation allowed me to focus on school. It helped cover my education cost. It gave us extra funding to live and get by without having to work another part-time job.”Monty now lives in Colorado working as a tax professional and will soon pursue his BA. Our mission as a foundation is to create opportunities out of your generosity to reduce any obstacle in our students’ way.  We’re continuously impressed and blown away by our students’ ability to adapt, overcome challenges and ultimately change their path in life.
Fast Facts on the Graduating Class or Fall ’22 & Summer ’23 
435 SFCC graduates are eligible to receive 500 awards;
44 students will receive more than one award. Of those awards, 327 are for certificates and 173 are for associate degrees.
59% are from Santa Fe; 8.5% from Albuquerque; 4.1% from Española; 1.8% from Rio Rancho; and 2% from Los Alamos.Other graduates are from 53 communities around the state. Three additional states are represented by 11 students: Colorado (1), Illinois (1), Oklahoma (1) and Texas (9).
Graduates range in age from 17 to 76.
Hispanics make up 57.2% of graduates. Those identifying themselves as American Indian or Alaska Native are 6.7%.11 graduates identify themselves as military veterans, military spouses or dependents of military veterans.
327 total number of certificatesawarded.
173 total number of associate degrees awarded.
The associate degrees to be awarded include Associate in Arts (80), Associate in Science (4) and Associate in Applied Science (89).
-The highest number of awards are in: Certificates: Community Health Worker Training (16), Early Childhood Development (31) and Phlebotomy (32). Associate degrees: Nursing, A.A.S. (19), Accounting (15) and A.A, Early Childhood Education, A.A. (14).

*source SFCC
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Ever grateful for your philanthropy,

Kelly A. Marquez, MBA
Executive Director 
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