2022 Grads

HSE Student Address

Larae Crow 

Good evening, my name is Larae Crow, I am 33 years old, and I am from the Jicarilla Apache Nation in Dulce, NM. I would like to share my journey through adult education.

I dropped out of school in 10th grade at the age of 16. I continued my studies at an academy that was done through the US Postal mail. I thought that was the best route for me because I did not like being in school. I felt like I didn’t belong. I didn’t have many friends, I felt isolated and alone. After completing the course, I received my diploma and was ready to move on to the next phase of my life.

I started experimenting with alcohol and drugs. I was having fun. What I thought was fun landed me in trouble. At 20 yrs. old I got a DUI and did a 28-day program. I had to have an ignition interlock installed in my vehicle. I was on probation for a year and paid thousands of dollars in fines.

At 21 years old I became a mother and a wife, which then became my #1 priority. I applied for a job with my tribe and discovered my diploma was unaccredited and would not be accepted. I was back to square one.

I had no high school diploma or a high school equivalency. I needed one or the other in order to work.

In 2016, my family moved to Taos seeking work and a better school for my daughter. At this time, I found Taos Education and Career Center, where I took classes which prepared me for HSE tests. I registered for HSE tests and passed 4 out of 5 tests. I did not pass math and was discouraged. I wanted it so badly. I was so disheartened that I gave up on going back to class.

I went back to work. Making money was more important at the time and my daughter still needed me at home. In August 2021 I decided to give it one more try, and I told myself, no one is going to do it for me.

I started in-class learning and did a math class online. The state gave me six months to pass my math test, if not I would have to do all tests again as my previous scores would expire. I definitely felt some pressure once they told me that. TECC gave me the opportunity to finish countless times. I always knew they would be there to support me to start up where I left off and opened lots of doors for me.

December 20, 2021, I successfully passed my math test and obtained my HSE. Completing this has been my biggest accomplishment. I want my daughter to know that whatever life throws at you, you can overcome it with prayer, believing in yourself, and if you want something done, you’re going to have to do it yourself. It’s never too late to go back. It took me five years from start to finish. Yes, I wanted to finish earlier, but I believe God has a plan for me and has put me in the right place at the right time.

I accomplished this working a full-time job at Cid’s Food Market, where I started out as a cashier and got promoted to be a supervisor of the frond end dept. I’m thankful my job worked around my class schedule and my commitment as a mother, which is not easy.

I have encountered heartbreaking losses throughout my journey. I lost two brothers and my mother as I strived to reach my educational goals. This gave me strength to keep moving forward with the motivation to achieve what they had not been able to do. I wanted to make them proud of me.

I had a lot of trials and made many mistakes along the way, but I never gave up.

May 3, 2022, I completed a class through UNM-Taos. I received certification in hospitality management. I do want to continue my education and go to college. I will do this when the time is right.

All thanks goes to God and my family for their ongoing love and support. I would also like to thank Taos Education and Career Center and Cid’s Food Market for encouraging me throughout my journey. I could have not done it without you all! To my daughter Thank You for saving my life!

I would like to end with a quote from BTS, a K- pop band:

“I like to ask all of you
What is your name
What excites you and makes your heart beat
Tell me your story
I want to hear your voice
And I want to hear your conviction
No matter who you are
Where you’re from
Your skin color
Your gender identity
Just speak/be yourself
Find your name
And find your voice
By speaking/being yourself
Like most people
I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my life
I have many faults
And I have many more fears
But I’m going to embrace myself completely”

Congratulations Class of 2022!! We are now a part of the UNM-Taos family.

Student Address

Kayl Rainer 

UNM-Taos Student Government Association President  Class of 2022 Graduate


Commencement Address

Taletha Maricle-Fitzpatrick 

Lockheed Martin Space | Senior Project Engineer


HSE Student Address

Larae Crow

TECC at UNM-Taos Participant and HSE Graduate