CMC graduates reflect |

CMC graduates reflect

Phillip Yates
Garfield County correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

SPRING VALLEY ” 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 (CMC) 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 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 served as 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 while volunteering her time in the community and been an active member of Phi Theta Kappa.

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 Alvarado 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.