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Mother and Son Join WNMU Family

Deming, NM- Many find themselves with some pretty hectic schedules to manage once they enter college. Others find that they have some enormous obstacles that they must overcome. These things can wear us out and keep us down. Hopefully though, hearing the story of WNMU Freshman Alexandro Rubio and his mother, Flor, will be just the inspiration you need to press forward. That’s definitely what Alex is determined to do.

19-year-old Alex is a freshman from Columbus, New Mexico, and currently takes classes at WNMU’s Deming branch. He was born premature, at only 6 ½ months, which caused respiratory issues that greatly affected his motor skills, forcing Alex to use a walker to get around. This hasn’t stopped him from indulging his higher learning, however. He really enjoys tinkering with computers, and hopes to become a computer technician after graduation.

After graduating from Deming High School in 2014, Alex originally wanted to attend New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, and was actually accepted to the institute before he and his parents, his mother Flor and his father Arnoldo, decided against it, due to its cost and their lack of resources. After a recommendation from a Deming High School secretary, Alex and his family eventually decided on attending Western New Mexico University, due to the Deming branches closeness to Columbus.

Ever since starting at WNMU, Alex has been very satisfied with how helpful and attentive the teachers and staff members are to his needs, especially since he had many doubts before hand.

“My first experience as a college student was pretty good,” Alex said, “especially since I didn’t feeling like I could do it.”

Both Alex and his mother credited JoBeth Erling of WNMU’s Disability Support Services for being an extraordinary help in getting Alex’s classes set up, as well as making sure he had all the right textbooks.

While Alex takes his undergraduate classes at WNMU Deming, his mother, Flor, also samples some of what WNMU has to offer, through Adult Education Services, specifically their Spanish Computer Skills Class.

Though she is able to read and understand English, Flor doesn’t speak it. She also says that before taking classes she wouldn’t even touch a computer. One day, while waiting for Alex during one of his classes, she saw a sign advertising ESL classes. Only a week after Alex began attending WNMU, Flor began attending classes as well, saying that once she finishes taking ESL classes, she plans to begin taking classes at the university, hoping to study something where she can learn a skill or a trade.

For now, she works in Deming and devotes the rest of her time to encourage Alex and his education. Stating that her kids are her priority, she explained her schedule as working “just about every day” while on Tuesdays she gets off at 2pm, drives an hour home to Columbus to get Alex ready for his class at 7 and doesn’t get home until 11 at night. Thursdays, she says, are more hectic, getting out at 2 and racing back to Columbus to get Alex ready for his classes at 4, while once again not getting back until 11 at night.

She doesn’t mind, however. In fact, when Alex said that he would like to eventually begin taking classes at the main campus in Silver City, Flor stated that she and his father fully support him.

“As long as Alex is willing to move forward with his education, I will move with him.” Flor said.

Special thanks to Judith Guevara for assistance in translating.

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Eric Lowe is the current Editor of the Mustang Newspaper. He has been writing professionally since August 2014.