Molly Sprowle is already teaching at the Lutheran School in Pagosa Springs. Jaclyn Hall has a job lined up at Southwest Memorial Hospital in Cortez, and Charlene Chavez has a contract with Indian Health Services.
The three women were among 125 students who received their associate degrees or educational certificates in various fields from Pueblo Community College Southwest Campus on Sunday at the school’s commencement ceremony held at Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College.
“I really didn’t do it for the money,” said Sprowle, who earned her associate degree in early childhood education. “I just wanted to say I accomplished something.”
“A friend of mine just passed away, and he always said I should go back to school – I was good at it. I did it for him,” she said.
PCC President Patty Erjavec told students the commencement ceremony honored their persistence through challenges they faced en route to leaving the Community Concert Hall with a degree in hand.
“Whatever educational challenges you faced, you persevered,” she said. “You are tenacious. You did not give up. You faced challenges, and what matters is how you dealt with them. You learn, you adapt, and you learn to make the best of each situation.”
Chavez spent some time in the car traveling to and from Shiprock, New Mexico, either to the Mancos campus or the one in Durango as she pursued an associate degree in nursing.
“It was my first selection,” she said of PCC. “I liked it because it was small, a community.”
Hall, who is from Cortez, will become an operating room nurse at Southwest Memorial Hospital in Cortez on passage of her board examination.
She has spent 14 years as a medical assistant, and she thought it was time to move up. She found Pueblo Community College an affordable option where she could study locally for her Associate of Science in applied nursing.
“You don’t have a social life” is how she explained graduating magna cum laude with a 3.99 grade-point average.