Hondo trip shows students all the possibilities in store

By Todd Fuqua

Hondo students pause outside the Cielo Grande Veterinary Center, March 29, in Roswell. (Courtesy photo)

Hondo’s high school took the day to head to Roswell, March 29, to give its students a look at their possible futures.

Students view an operation at Cielo Grande Veterinary Center. (Courtesy photo)

Thanks to the Trio-Educational Talent Search program at Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell, Hondo is one of several schools across the state that gives high school upperclassmen a glimpse into what higher education can hold in store.

“We provide educational counseling, cultural and educational field trips to college campuses so kids can get exposure to what is available,” said Danny Herrera, coordinator for the Trio program at ENMU-Roswell. “We’ve been serving Hondo for 26 years.”

In March, a handful of students first went to the Cielo Grande Vet Clinic in Roswell, on the west side of town. 

They were members of Karl Wenner’s biology class, which had been studying animal physiology.

Veterinary medicine wasn’t the only healthcare indiustry Hondo students got a glimpse of at ENMU-Roswell. (Courtesy photo)

“There were 10 students, all 10th graders,” Wenner said. “We’d been dissecting worms and a frog, so we figured we’d let them see what a live animal looks like.”

Wenner said there was a male cat neutered and two female dogs spayed during the visit, giving students a glimpse into the realities of being a veterinary doctor.

“A lot of the kids had questions about the pets they’ve had,” Wenner said. “They learned a lot about parvo and other diseases or conditions that they didn’t realize about pets.”

Hondo students thoroughly enjoyed their visit to the hangar of ENMU-Roswell’s aircraft maintenance program, seeing all manner of planes and helicopters, even sitting at the controls. (Courtesy photo)

Following the vet visit, the Hondo students went to the ENMU-Roswell campus, learning a lot about campus life and seeing the facilities, from the library to the recreation area to work in the field.

Perhaps the most popular part of the trip was a visit to the campus’ aircraft maintenance program, located in one of the many hangers that were once used to house military aircraft when the campus was Walker Air Force Base.

There was also time for recreation, as students played raquetball, basketball and volleyball at the ENMU-Roswell campus’ recreation center. (Courtesy photo)

Students got a hands-on, up-close look at airplanes and helicopters, sitting in the cockpits and learning about what a career in aviation maintenance could mean.

“They’re starting a program camp in June which takes students through a pre-flight class, then they take you up in a small plane,” Wenner said. “They also get to fly the plane for about an hour.”

Wenner and Herrera both emphasized that graduates don’t have to go far to find an education that can lead to a rewarding and fulfilling career.

“There’s a lot out there for them, and a lot of it is within Lincoln County,” Wenner said. “There’s also wind turbine technician training at ENMU-Ruidoso. There’s big jobs with big salaries for them if they go through with this.”

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