Rachel Gutierrez of Clovis still remembers the day she nearly abandoned her goal of graduating from Santa Fe Community College.

Gutierrez, 35, was among 328 students (out of a graduating class of about 800) who picked up their diplomas or program certificates before a packed Pueblo Pavilion at the Santa Fe Indian School on Saturday.

She was one of two students who addressed the graduating class. The other was August Honnell, 17, a sustainable energy-biofuels student in The MASTERS Program, an early college charter high school based at SFCC. (Honnell will receive his high school diploma next week.)

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