Mom juggles family, studies

CNJ staff photo: Andy DeLisle Ivelis Perdomo will graduate with associate degrees in fine and liberal arts.

By Helena Rodriguez: CNJ staff writer

Focus. Focus. Focus.
That’s the advice Ivelis Perdomo will give to graduates and future graduates of Clovis Community College during a commencement ceremony tonight. She should know. The 32-year-old mother of two went straight from homeschooling her two children to taking an overload of college courses over the past two semesters in order to complete associate degrees in fine and liberal arts.

“I tend to give things my 110 percent,” said Perdomo, one of two speakers scheduled to talk tonight. An estimated 106 students walk across the stage in caps and gowns to receive degrees or certificates of completion from CCC.

“I never doubted that I would finish school this semester. I was so busy that I didn’t give myself time to contemplate what I was actually taking on,” said Perdomo, whose husband Bryce is an optometry technician stationed at Cannon Air Force Base. “I stayed focused and dedicated, knowing what I wanted and going after it without letting anything get in the way.”

Perdomo, who is from Brooklyn, N.Y., returned to school in the fall following a 10-year hiatus. She took 20 hours during the fall 2006 semester and 21 hours during the spring semester to complete the two degrees. Prior to coming to CCC, she had earned about 20 credits from Long Island University in New York, but she quit in order to care for her two children, Unique, 14, and Bryce, 8.

“It was stressful at first,” Perdomo said, “because I went from homeschooling my children and spending a lot of time with them, to becoming almost nonexistent, being focused on my work. Fortunately, I have good kids and a supportive husband. I don’t know how I would have done it otherwise.”

Her next move is to complete a bachelor of fine arts degree and hopefully a master of fine arts degree so she can teach on the college level someday.

Jan Lloyd, the division chair for fine arts and communication at CCC, described Perdomo as a hardworking and dedicated young lady with a great deal of drive.

“It’s hard to take an overload, especially in the arts, because arts takes a bit of time,” Lloyd explained. “It takes time to develop a concept, develop your skills and put your concept into action.

“I have to admire any student who takes care of her family at the same time she is going to school. I know that she has gone without much sleep for some weeks.”

Perdomo said she often stays up to three or four in the morning to complete her projects.

She will spend the summer as an intern, working under the direction of Lloyd to help redo the campus museum and learn about restoring and repairing artwork.

Fast facts

What: Clovis Community College
commencement

Where Marshall Junior High School Auditorium

When: 6 p.m. tonight

2007 Graduation dates for area schools:

Friday
Clovis Community College: 6 p.m., Marshall Junior High

Saturday
Eastern New Mexico University: 10 a.m., Greyhound Arena

Monday
Texico High School: 7 p.m., Texico Sports Arena

May 18
Clovis Christian School: 6:30 p.m.The Chapel
Fort Sumner High School: 7 p.m., The New Gym

May 19
Clovis High School: 10 a.m.,Clovis High School, The Rock
Melrose High School: 7 p.m.

May 20
Grady High School: 5 p.m., Grady High School

May 25
Farwell High School: 7 p.m. (CDT), High School Auditorium
Bovina High School: 7 p.m. (CDT), High School Auditorium
Muleshoe High School: 7 p.m. (CDT), Bailey County Coliseum, Civic Center