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Lopez proves perseverance pays off

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Graduate Sheri Lopez, a 2003 Pojoaque High School graduate, exemplifies the non-traditional student, whose trajectory to success shows University of New Mexico-Los Alamos students this can be the norm.
The young, single mother is attending New Mexico Tech in Socorro for mechanical engineering with a minor in aerospace. As a pre-engineering student at UNM-LA, Lopez was one of five students selected nationally for the Great Minds in STEM scholarship. She was also awarded a scholarship for a poem she submitted to Nota Bene, a Phi Theta Kappa magazine that publishes student works.
Lopez attended a community college in California after graduating high school, but struggled to pay tuition and living expenses while away from home for the first time. She enrolled at UNM-LA in 2010 after returning to New Mexico and again struggled to complete her courses as she was being diagnosed with epilepsy and working full time. She was also pregnant and ended up having her son during finals week, and dropping out again.
When she finished her associate’s degree this past year, Lopez had been going to school off and one for more than 10 years. With the academic advice and personal encouragement of the staff at UNM-LA, Lopez finally found the confidence and skills to complete her degree.


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