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Student honored by Legislature

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JoAnn Betancur was honored at Adult Education and Literacy Day at the Capitol in Santa Fe on Jan. 26.

Betancur began her educational journey at ENMU-Roswell this past fall semester when she enrolled as an ACCE (Accelerated College and Career Education) student under the TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) program. The program helps students receive a high school equivalency certificate and provides them with on the job training.

Nancy Alvarado, Adult Education instructor at ENMU-Roswell, nominated Betancur for the award. “Betancur dropped out of high school after the deaths of her father and two brothers,” wrote Alvarado. “Her only remaining immediate family was her mother and JoAnn felt that she could not emotionally survive in high school. At the age of 20, JoAnn started her beautiful little family, and now is the mother of three wonderful girls. After the breakup of her relationship with her girls’ father, JoAnn realized that she had to do something different to better her girls’ lives. JoAnn became a participant in Career Links, began classes for the HiSET, and started working in the ENMU-R Adult Education Department.”

Alvarado said Betancur has been an outstanding student and employee. “Despite the challenges that being a single mother carries, JoAnn has excelled, passing the HiSET high school equivalency exam with flying colors. This January, JoAnn enrolled in college at ENMU-R to study for the Occupational Therapy Assistant program, and became a permanent work-study for the Adult Education Department. JoAnn is a true success story.”

Betancur said she was surprised by the recognition. “I feel extremely blessed and privileged to be able to receive the award,” she said. “I have set lots of goals but this wasn’t one of them. It makes me want to push even more. It’s a privilege to be a role model for other students and for my girls. There are definitely challenges but I am able to overcome them.”

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