Tag Archives: prep school

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?


Finding the Best School for You

By: LTC Kalith Smith, Director of Admissions

Choosing a school comes with lots of questions and a good deal of pressure. Students who get to a turning point in choosing where to attend often have not prepared for the decision, and it can be so overwhelming that you may not give it more than a passing thought before you return to the ‘normal’ schools that everyone else chooses. For many students ‘normal’ is good enough. For some students, they want to find the best possible place to fit their learning needs. A school that will challenge them to achieve while supporting their development as a whole person. Once you start to think about what school best serves you, the variables are numerous. Let me be clear in my personal bias: I hold the belief that education that is ‘one size fits all’ will never be as beneficial to students as an education that allows students to place into courses based on their ability. Working with students to find the courses that best fit their needs also put them in the best position to know what type of college or university fits those needs and work toward admission to those schools.

Today I read Scott and Borgman’s comic strip, ‘Zits’:


Sometimes students need more than just ‘guidance’ when planning for their education, they need a psychologist! When I first arrived in Roswell in 2006 I came here as a guidance counselor. I had been in the business of college admission for close to a decade and it was time for a change. At NMMI we pride ourselves on our college placement and our support of students through their decision making process. By helping many students through decisions on their future education, I have found that emotions take over if there isn’t a written list. This works wonders to help clarify and somewhat quantify your choice of school or the whole decision can end up being very emotionally driven. There is certainly a part of the equation that is ‘feel’, and that is included here, but that can’t be the whole equation. So, as you go through the decision on where you will spend next term or next year, make a list creating a ranking of your top schools that is what YOU want out of college is not as hard as it seems!

Each of us likes to see things spelled out clearly. We love rankings. However, in school selection, the only rankings that matter is you finding the best possible school for you. So, making your own list is quite personal, but the most important part in school selection.

My list would look something like this:

  1. What do I like to do best?
    1. I enjoy history best out of my subjects in school
    2. I like to make good, long-term relationships
    3. I enjoy music
    4. I love the outdoors
    5. I like to be challenged and learn new things
    6. I like complex ideas and solutions to those complex issues.
  2. What are my strengths?
    1. I work well with others.
    2. I like to plan ahead and make sure everything is in order.
    3. I am a hard worker
  3. What are my weaknesses?
    1. I don’t like it when someone feels they are right all of the time.
    2. I value other’s opinions even if I don’t agree with them
    3. I struggle with math unless I see the purpose

With this list, you begin to see a picture of yourself as a student. Now, it can also be helpful to have your teachers and others who know you come up with a similar list, but be cautious if you aren’t ready to listen to what they have to say, it’s better not to ask.

Once you create your list of important factors, you need a way to rank them. My ranking list suggestion is here for my love of history:

  • School has no history courses=0
  • School offers history courses=1
  • School has a full offering of US and World history=2
  • School has a full offering with other niche classes (Such as art or military history) =3
  • School has a special program or a major in history=4
  • The program at the school has a full offering and opportunities to study abroad and visit locations I learn about=5

This provides me with a way to rank the schools, for my own needs, that I am interested in attending. Once you go through all of your points from your list, then you have a ranking of your schools by point value.

At NMMI we rank very high in the percentage of faculty members who have advanced degrees, meaning that we have a very well qualified faculty, the percentage of students on some form of financial aid, diversity of our student body and the number of advanced courses we offer. Those are our top rankings, but what ranking matters to you? There is no ranking for a leadership program, but that may be important to you. Our Ropes Course is a big part of that, again no rankings. Bottom line is what ranks up there for you!

Once you have a list based on what you would like in your school, look at their value proposition. How much will the education cost at each school and how much can you afford? Schools do have aid packages and scholarships to help, but for this practice let’s assume you will pay the highest price possible based on the schools published costs and discounts. Remember, most schools will not offer any aid until you have gone through the admission process successfully. This ranking might look like this:

  • I can afford this school no matter how much aid they give me =5
  • I can probably afford this school with a little help=4
  • I may be able to afford the school with considerable help=3
  • I may be able to afford the school with substantial help=2
  • I can afford the school if they give me a full ride=1
  • I can’t afford this school even if they pay for everything=0

Once you rank the schools based on your fit from the first equation and your ability to afford the education in the second equation, it’s time to schedule some visits!

Visit the top schools that fit you best and you likely can afford.

Finally, after you conduct your visits, give each school a third ranking based on the visit and how the school fits you. This is a ‘feel’ ranking that does take into account how you feel on the campus. Now, double back to the question of can they support your strengths and weaknesses and fit into your initial criteria and you likely have narrowed down your choice.

Of course, I hope that New Mexico Military Institute is on that short list, but our primary objective is to find students who will be successful here and to help those that aren’t a good fit find a great educational home elsewhere.

Need more information? Feel free to e-mail the author any questions or comments you may have! Contact the NMMI Office of Admission for more information about NMMI.

True Brothers at NMMI

By Cadet Diego Salido

NMMI Salido BrothersThe first year at NMMI is different for everyone. It is hard because is like nothing we have ever done. It is fun because it is when we find friends in our weakest moments. It is a lot of things, but for me, it was special.

The main reason of why my “RAT” year was special is because I never felt away from home; this was because I literally had family here with me. My older brother was a Sergeant Major, in charge of the discipline of over 200 people– while I was a recruit, the lowest rank in the corps and someone who only had to worry about myself.

My brother taught me everything I needed to know to succeed in this place. He even tried to teach me a lot of things before I came but I just wouldn’t listen to him, and I still regret it. He got me ready for most of the obstacles that I could face here at NMMI. He warned me about RAT week and how challenging it was going to be–omitting some of the details and giving me some surprises. When he refused to help me with something it was only to make me stronger and more independent, because he was trying to guide me rather than carrying me through the whole process of learning at the Institute.

His presence also improved me because he just kept pushing me (or made me push) to perfection. He would not stand catching me doing the wrong thing or wearing my uniform incorrectly. He expected me to set the example for my friends and to have more discipline than the others. I worked hard to prove that I could be the person he expected me to be. The best thing is that our relationship as brothers got stronger. Even if we didn’t talk a lot because of the rules and because of our different schedules, we knew we had each other for whatever we needed.

This year, as a yearling and a Platoon Sergeant, I try to follow his example and I still carry with me all his advice. I work hard every day to make him proud even when he is studying back home.

Spring Break 2016

By Sara Cosenza

Picture1            My first college spring break was definitely one for the record books! This first half of my trip brought me back home to Arizona to spend a few days with my family. We had a wonderful Easter Sunday and my parents loved having me home, even if it was for a short period of time.

About half way through the week I hopped on a plane and headed to Maryland to visit my good friend, Sara Butler (pictured on the far left). Shelby Peters (pictured in the middle) joined us as well. Both Sara and Shelby attend New Mexico Military Institute. It didn’t take long until we were on the move again! The morning after Shelby and I landed in Maryland, the three of us drove four hours to New Jersey. Here we had lunch and visited with some of Butler’s family. That same day, we got on the train and took an eighty minute ride into New York. We spent two nights in New York with my cousins who live on Long Island. We spent the first night meeting up with Nick Vinberg and Tony Pravata, two NMMI cadets that live close to where we were staying. Our second day was spent sight seeing. We spent hours in Time Square (where the photograph was taken) shopping and going to places such as the M&M store. The girls and I enjoyed some New York styled pizza for lunch and took a wonderful tour of Central Park. We finished the day with a great show at Broadway Comedy Club. The next morning we went back into the city to catch our bus for the three hour trek back to Maryland and then later visited Washington DC. Overall, I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to create such great memories with my friends over this break.

Now we have all returned to school and are ready to finish the semester strong! There is only a little over a month left in the semester and finals are coming up quick. However, even with the stress of finals, this is also a very exciting time of year for NMMI cadets. High school seniors and college sophomores are stoked for graduation, the athletes are signing to play with four year universities, the ROTC cadets are preparing to commission into the Army in May, and the preps are all starting to receive their appointments to their respective academies. We’re almost to the finish line!

#NMMI Spring Break 2016

By Jianna Mique

This spring break was one for the books!  My spring break started on Thursday, but I arrived back home in San Diego on Friday.  On Friday, I spent time with my grandparents and rested at home.  Then on Saturday, I went to the high school where I graduated from, Mira Mesa, and I attended the varsity softball game.  At the end of the game I had a surprise for my former teammates, and the new ones as well. I gave them all black t-shirts with a design I made on them.  The shirts had a tribal design on it with blue, gold, and white, with “Mira Mesa Marauders” written on it.  Overall, the girls loved it, and I am glad they did.

On Sunday, it was Easter, so I went to church with my family and ate at Sizzler.  Then Sunday night was the night I have been waiting for, I had a flight to Florida!  I had been waiting to go back to Florida since my mom bought the plane tickets!  My mom and I had a red eye flight, so we were really tired on Monday, but we wasted no time!   Right after we arrived in Tampa, Florida, we got our rental car, and then we went to Clearwater Marine Aquarium.  I bought the Tampa City pass for us for $99 each, and with that pass we could go to 5 attractions in Tampa!  The first place we went to with the pass was Clearwater Marine Aquarium.  That aquarium is home to the dolphin named “Winter” who has a movie about her called “Dolphin Tale”.  Winter is a dolphin with no tail, and the aquarium was there to help her with that problem. After we spent a good time at the aquarium, we headed over to the Chihuly Collection in St. Petersburg, FL.  The place closed at 5pm, and we got there at 4:45pm, but we had a chance to look at all the amazing artwork.   We stayed at our friend’s house in Tampa, so we went there after we were done for the day.

On Tuesday morning, my mom and I went to the Lowry Park Zoo. When we got there, we were kind of bummed because a lot of the animals were put away because there was supposed to be a big storm, but it ended up not being as big as they predicted.  But, my highlight of my zoo visit was feeding a Giraffe!  It was only $5 to feed the Giraffe but I thought it was worth it!  I had the chance to feed it 3 pieces of lettuce, and it was the coolest thing!

After the zoo, we went to go watch MLB Spring Training.  I watched the New York Yankees play the Pittsburg Pirates.  The game got rained out, but I watched a good 6 innings, and the Yankees were winning 5-4.  I got to see Alex Rodriguez (A-Rod) play, which was an awesome experience.  He is one of my favorite baseball players and he is the highest paid MLB player!

On Wednesday, my mom and I drove to Orlando, FL to watch the New York Yankees play the Atlanta Braves.  The game was held at ESPNDisney’s Wide World of Sports Complex.  The cool thing about this game was that I have played at this sports complex before and on the same field the game was being played on.  It was a really good game because it was 0-0 for the longest time, and then the Yankees ended up winning 2-0!

On Thursday we went to Disney’s Hollywood Studies.  We only had the time to go to one park, and we chose this one because our favorite ride is the Rockin’ Rollercoaster because it goes super-fast!

Finally on Friday my mom and I drove back to Tampa, and we first went to the Florida Aquarium.  It was cool seeing all the sea creatures, and there was Lemurs as well.  After that, we went to Busch Gardens. There were so many rides at Busch Gardens, and we had such little time.  So we only had the chance to go on the water rapids ride, which was really fun!

Overall, as you can tell, I had a great spring break!  It was the best one yet!  I had no time to rest because I did something every day, but it was worth it!  I had tons of fun and I can’t wait to go back to Florida!  I made a video that sums up my spring break, here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_HMU35-6lQ