Alumni

Samantha Apodaca

I graduated from Deming High School in 2013 and from New Mexico State University in 2017. 

In high school I was active in MESA, Women’s Chorus, Art Club and National Honor Society. I didn't really know what I wanted to pursue in college, (all those groups and still no real direction,) so I ended up changing my major three times! I finally took an Anthropology class and discovered my passion. I was that kid - the one that shows up to class early, stays late to talk to their professor and shoots their hand up at every question. After four years of intense studying paired with two really fun semesters in Italy and Thailand, I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology and Photojournalism. 

I came back to Deming because I didn't know where else to go. I got a job at a law office and almost wound up in law school, but before that random career change happened, I heard there was a job opening for a local nonprofit! Next thing I knew I was the Administrative Assistant at Border Partners, an organization that works in Palomas, Mexico to improve lives in the border town by sharing resources, ideas and experiences. We’re all about education and its exchange of teaching and learning, specifically in community health, nutrition, sustainable technologies and business development. It was hard in the beginning to be thrusted into ‘adult life’ and have such important responsibilities; suddenly I was managing the finances, acting as a ‘boss’ to 12 people, dealing with Mexican customs, writing grants for funding, networking with local organizations, heading major fundraisers, overseeing a long list of programs and sites Border Partners has in Palomas… it was overwhelming, to say the least! But, knowing that all of these duties were just spokes in the wheel of helping others, kept me going. In the year that I have worked with Border Partners I have been promoted to General Manager. Hard work does pay off! 

Just as I unexpectedly found my passion in Anthropology I found another passion for my job. Everyday is an unexpected adventure; sometimes I am in one of our 80 gardens testing the soil, unloading fresh vegetables and fruits at the local elementary, attending workshops in other cities, or even riding around with a documentary crew! 

I hope to expand our services to every small town along the Mexican - American Border and touch as many lives as I can. And that’s my story. 

Now, my advice to you all is this: 

1. Listen. You might regret something you've said, but you will never regret something you’ve learned. Your elders have more experience than you, take their advice.

2. Travel. Take every opportunity you have to see, feel, taste, and hear new things. Understanding and accepting other cultures is vital to being a knowledgeable person. 

3. Be you. It’s easy to fall victim to social pressures, but at the end of the day you are the only you, so embrace it. 

 

My email is samanthaapodaca95@gmail.com. If any of you want to talk to me about my job, college, life, just send me an email!

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