Category Archives: Outside the Classroom

Why I Came to NMMI–And Why I’ve Stayed

By Cadet Diego Salido

One of the most repetitive questions I have been asked as a cadet is “Why are you at NMMI?”

Most people assume that I am a troublemaker and my parents sent me here to fix me, which is something that you will not find very often here at the Institute. Most of the people come here because of their own choice and because they are looking for a challenge. In my case, I came here following my brother’s example and his advice. He told me that it was the best choice I could make and that I would not regret it. I had to think about it for more than a year, and finally I decided that I wanted to accept the challenge. After my first year, the question became “Why did you stay” and the answer is really simple: I stayed because of the people–the family I found here, and the opportunity to be someone better. I do not regret a single thing since I got here and I have enjoyed my ride. I still have a year left until I graduate and I know that I will miss everything and everyone when I leave.

Salido

Financing the Education of Your Dreams

By: Kalith Smith, Director of Admission New Mexico Military Institute

Last year I celebrated the arrival of the entering class of 2016 with a day at the Living Desert State Park in Carlsbad, NM. The Office of Admission had worked hard to bring in the class, but I had my phone forwarded to me just in case. I didn’t expect anything too earth shattering to happen. Then my phone rang. As I helped my kids understand the history that carved out Carlsbad Caverns, the voice on the other end asked a few simple questions, “My nephew was supposed to come to NMMI for matriculation, but we had a funeral. Can he still come? What would he need to have pulled together?” I explained to his Aunt that based on his Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which all high school seniors should fill out online at fafsa.ed.gov, the student was getting an incredible value. He was receiving aid and scholarships based on his admission, his academic ability and his financial need, but the student did not understand. This student had started his journey to NMMI during an annual trip with the Pinon, Arizona JROTC Cadets to NMMI as part of the Navajo Nation Reservation. But when thinking about NMMI for college—he saw Roswell, NM as a bridge too far. But when his Aunt found out that the pieces for his future—especially financially could come together–he was on the road to NMMI! His family went all out to make sure he didn’t miss the opportunity.

Fast forward to December when his mom and grandmother picked him up for winter break. I had asked to meet them, so he brought them to my office. I saw his Best New Cadet (BNC) Boards and asked if they knew what that meant. These boards are highly prized and point to a rising star in the Corps of Cadets. Once I explained the boards, they were beaming. What had almost ended before it got started had a wonderful end to the first chapter of his story at NMMI. His performance at NMMI brought pride to him, his family and the entire Navajo Nation. His Aunt stepped in at just the right moment, asked just the right questions and made the effort to drive him to Roswell and ensure that he took advantage of this opportunity.

At NMMI, we work very hard to create opportunities for students that cannot be achieved anywhere else. Each accredited institution you are considering will have unique things to offer and you are left to make a decision on which road to choose. However, sometimes students stop themselves before they are able to find out what is possible. This happens all the time when students and families see the initial price tag for education and shy away, not taking the time to go through the process that would allow us to process the file for admission. Once a student is admitted, they are automatically considered for scholarships. At NMMI we don’t only look at your GPA and test score, we are also considering your past behavior, your leadership and any special ability as we award scholarships. In each situation we can’t tell you what you might be eligible for if you don’t complete your application! So, whatever school you are considering move through their process and find out what is possible before you declare it to be impossible. Now is the time, apply online, send in the necessary documents and see what might be possible. My student who almost stopped himself is up for a big promotion in the Corps of Cadets in the fall. He is incredible, but he needed to take a step out of his comfort zone (and he needed a little push from his family) to find out just how incredible he really is!

As Dr. Seuss wrote:

You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting! So…get on your way!

How NMMI Changed My Life

By: Cadet Nick Valentine

When I first stepped on post, I knew I was entering one of the most developmental chapters of my life yet. I was 16 years old, entering my junior year of high school, and to be honest I did not have a strong grasp of what I was doing at New Mexico Military Institute. The only real reason why I came was to better prepare myself for an appointment to one of the Service Academies, but I did not know how I was going to do that once I stepped into the cadet uniform.

There was a specific point in my time at the Institute when I realized my true purpose at NMMI, but it was long after my first steps as a Recruit at Training. It was when I looked in the mirror a few minutes before my high school graduation, dressed in my formal Summer A uniform as a Cadet 1st Sergeant, one of the highest ranks a high schooler can achieve at the Institute. I was different, but in a positive way. I stood taller, I looked sharper, and I confidence in my path in life. I was a NMMI Cadet, and that something I have the honor of carrying with me for the rest of my life. The cool thing about that is, there is no one that will ever be able to take that away from me. I had found myself at the Institute, through the countless push-ups, vigorous academics, and most importantly the relationships I built at NMMI. I had tapped into wo I truly am.

Now, as a returning cadet at New Mexico Military Institute, I have carried that confidence I assumed during my high school years into my college career. I brought the momentum of finishing high school strong with me, and I have not let anything get in my way of finding more about who I am. That is what NMMI does for you, it opens a gateway into finding your true self. However, the choice is yours… Will you embark on the journey of an NMMI Cadet?

 

NMMI Named Most Beautiful Military School in the US

New Mexico Military Institute was recently named as the Most Beautiful Military School in the US by militaryschooler.com. Thank you to all cadets, alumni, parents, families, friends, and all others, who took the time to vote.

 

Photo Credit: Kirsten Alton

A Fear I’ve Overcome at NMMI

By c/LTC Hannah Broyles

Broyles LeapWhat am I scared of? The two main things I’m terrified of at school are spiders and heights.  You could say, I’ve sort of overcome those, but I make my roommate kill the spiders.  At NMMI, it’s taken me out of my comfort zone.  One of most enjoyable moments at school that took me out of my comfort zone and face my fear was the “Leap of Faith.”  This occurred during the beginning of RAT week, where Regimental Staff had time to bond as a group.  The Leap of Faith from my perspective goes like this, it is a telephone pole that feel likes like the weakest twig on the tree, it goes up a million feet high, and has a platform that feels like 1ft by 1ft.  It’s not.  It is a sturdy telephone pole, that goes up 3/4ths of the way to the top, and has platform more than 1ft by 1ft.  As part of getting up the pole and jumping off the platform, each cadet chose someone to help the set a goal (the bar you jumped to), the one who encouraged you to continue climbing the pole, and one who would help you keep grounded with the rope you were attached to.  I choose LTC Davis (Deputy Commandant of Operations), LTC Graff (Commandant of Cadets), and c/LTC Ortega to help me get through this.

Before we jumped off, our assigned task was to write a goal on a sticky note, everyone around me had goals that included “graduating the year,” “achieving a certain GPA,” and then there was me. “JUMP OFF THE PLATFORM!”  It seems silly now, but at that time that was my goal, jump off and survive to tell the tale.  At the top of the pole and standing on the platform, it felt like I was up there for a million years.  My heart was racing, the platform was shaking, and there was a gentle breeze.  My friend Andres, was at the bottom and cheered for me to jump off, I jumped.  I grabbed the bar, but was not fast enough to grip it.  However, my support at the bottom and the group of Regimental Cadets helped pull me to the bar and grab my goal.  This is by the far the most exhilarating experience I’ve come across since being at the Institute.

P.S- if you search #nmmi on Instagram, you can find the video of the most terrified cadet on campus, doing and achieving the impossible.

Now about the spiders, we’ll get there eventually. For now, my roommate will take care of them.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” -Nelson Mandela