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DACC: 50 Years of Investing in Our Community

GO bond supports educational goals


I have worked for Doña Ana Community College for a total of 15 years. I started my career at the college in the 1980s and am likely to close my career at DACC. I have learned many lessons as a result of my experience at the college, but none more important than the value of investing in our community.

Early on, my experience was all about students. I was a faculty member and a program coordinator. I had daily interactions with the community members who came to “the branch” to change the direction of their lives. They invested their time, their effort, their dollars, and even their egos. (Just think about taking tests, writing papers, and waiting for grades!) And they did all of this to build a better future for themselves and their families. Despite a number of life’s complexities—working full-time or caring for family members or living with the consequences of adverse childhood experiences—so many made conscious decisions to go, to persist, and to earn a DACC credential or transfer to the university. Whatever the circumstances, choosing to go to school is an investment. That was evident every day. I can still hear some of their voices describing the reason for that investment: I deserve better. I can contribute more to my workplace or my industry. I want to do this for my children.

I sit in a different chair now, which provides another perspective on what it is we’re doing at the college. At this point, I’m thinking about the impact of a DACC education on the broader community. I experience that as I make my way through each day. I wake up and trust I will have electricity (Electrical Lineworker) and water (Water Technology). I get in my car (Automotive Technology) and drive 15 minutes to work. DACC graduates are likely employed all along the route: the fire station (Fire Science), the police station (Criminal Justice), the NM Department of Health (Public Health), several child development centers (Early Childhood Education), and public schools (Education). I get to my office at the East Mesa campus and enter a beautiful building that is well maintained (Drafting, Building Construction Technology, Welding, HVAC). I drive home and sometimes pick up dinner at a local restaurant (Hospitality and Culinary). The community is filled with DACC graduates in these and many other professions that we interface with regularly and not-so-regularly (health care, digital media companies, computer support businesses, etc.)

Of course, DACC would never have been able to do this work without significant support from voters, taxpayers, donors, elected officials, and a host of other friends. Thank you. We have worked hard to be good stewards of the resources you have provided.

On Nov. 7, DACC is asking voters to approve $16 million dollars in general obligation bonds. I believe that this continuing support represents more than funding to the college. It is an investment in the community.