The Battle to Graduation

By: Jianna Vasquez

As another semester comes to end, it is time to say goodbye to another group of seniors.

Ashlerose Francia will walk across the stage inside the Pan Am on May 13 to receive her diploma.

Francia’s road to graduation hasn’t been easy, but it will be worth it because she will be the first in her family to graduate from a university.

Francia was adopted at a very early age and lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico for the first seven year of her life. Growing up, Francia admits that her family was low-income, but it was a factor that has contributed to her pursuing her education from a young age.

“My mom pushed me to work hard in school,” said Francia. “She was always active in my childhood.”

At the age of seven Francia and her family moved to Rosewell, New Mexico. Francia mother, Rosemary Matta, enrolled her in a charter school for her middle school years.

“My mother was always making sure I got the best schooling,” said Francia. The charter school provided Francia with many resources, put her in gifted programs and made sure she was on track for success. Francia admits that this school was another factor in helping her on journey to graduation.

Although, Francia was on the right track for several years that all changed when she was in high school.

“When I went to high school I didn’t want to do it anymore,” Francia admits. “I wasn’t doing my homework and I had bad grades.”

Francia was drained and tired of school. Francia’s mother continued to push her in academic’s even if Francia wasn’t doing too well.

“My mom was mad at me all the time telling me I needed to get it together,” said Francia.

Toward the end of her junior year in high school, Franica took her ACT and got a high score. Because of Francia’s high scores she was given a full-ride scholarship to NMSU.

“I was super excited I would be going to college,” said Francia.

In the fall of 2012, Francia attended her first semester at NMSU, but the setbacks continued.

Her parents were getting a divorce and she wasn’t adjusting to college, she failed a class and lost her scholarship.

Francia’s determination to get an education kept her striving for success. She got a job at Wal-mart and began to work over 40 hours a week so she could pay for her school.

“It was so hard,” said Francia. The following semester Francia met with a scholarship advisor that help her put things into prospective.

After meeting with the scholarship advisor Francia decided that her education was the most important thing and she needed to continue to push towards getting her degree.

“I wasn’t doing as well as I would have liked,” said Francia.

Francia got her scholarship back and after the spring of 2014 and started taking online classes to get back on track.

From the fall of 2015 Francia has maintained a 4.0 GPA and began to join many clubs and organizations around the campus that have helped her make it to where she is today.

Although Francia admits that it hasn’t been an easy journey to graduation she knows that she isn’t the only student who has struggled to making it to graduation.

“You are your first priority and if something isn’t working for you, change isn’t necessarily a bad thing,” advises Francia.

Francia will receive her degree in Criminal Justice and Government with a supplementary major in Law and society, this May.

Being the first in her family to graduate not only makes her proud, but it also makes her mother and 11-year-old sister, Alex, proud.

Francia’s mother sends her a message, “Myself and Alex are proud of you and we love you very much.”

Commencement ceremony for NMSU will be held Saturday, May 13. For any information you can call 575-646-7382

Author: nmsuroundup

The student voice of New Mexico State University since 1907.

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