“She is a hungry learner.”

Adriana Cabrera

Mother, grandmother and housewife Adriana Cabrera earned her early childhood director certification at CMC while holding down a full-time job. “Have the courage to pursue your dreams,” she said.

That’s how CMC Carbondale English instructor Denise Moss described Adriana Cabrera, giving one of the best compliments a student can receive.

Cabrera, who graduated in May with an early childhood director certificate of occupational proficiency, has funny and fond memories of taking Moss’ English 122 class. While teaching the class how to write an in-depth research paper, Moss encouraged the students to break up the paper into smaller, step-by-step assignments. But Cabrera’s assignments were still coming in way too long.

“One day, Denise reviewed my paper and said, ‘Adri! You need to chop, chop, chop!’” Cabrera said. “I asked her, ‘What does that mean, professor?’

“Using my gestures and body language I said, ‘Cut, cut, cut?’ She nodded and said, ‘Correct! Chop, chop, chop!’

“We both laughed,” said Cabrera. “Now every time I see her I say ‘Chop, chop, chop!’”

Debra Arnold, the college counselor at CMC Carbondale, who has known Cabrera for 10 years, said, “As a second language student Adriana has worked so hard to succeed and help those along the way. She was in a developmental education class that I assisted in, and I watched her help her fellow students breaking down the barriers of culture and language to support them in their academic endeavors.”

‘You are capable’

As a student whose dreams to go to college were put on hold for several decades, Cabrera said she needed to put in extra effort. In addition to attending Colorado Mountain College, she had to juggle working full time while being a mother, a grandmother and a housewife.

The effort has been worth it.

“I have always wanted to be a teacher,” Cabrera said. “My passion is to teach others who need to learn new things. To teach is to put your heart into your students.”

Cabrera has a message for others who might be afraid to take the step of going back to school.

“CMC is a dream come true,” she said. “If you believe in dreams, here is the testimony. Don’t be afraid, have the courage to pursue your dreams and don’t let anyone discourage you. You are capable.”

Due to efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus, like most colleges in the country Colorado Mountain College decided to hold a virtual commencement this year. Launched at noon on May 15, 2020, the CMC virtual commencement website will be on view throughout at least the summer.

The site contains videos for seven different commencement ceremonies and information about the nearly 1,200 students invited to participate. Each ceremony features recorded speeches from the college president and Dr. Angie Paccione, the executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education. Each campus’s ceremony also includes a keynote speech from one of seven trailblazing Colorado women (in honor of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage), well as speeches from a student speaker and campus representatives.