By Cadet Rafael Valles
College years provide more than just academics, but opportunities for students to have exposure to other backgrounds and cultures. The world is an extremely complex, everchanging place, and entering a diverse and inclusive learning environment is very important for me and other applicants that hope to attend New Mexico Military Institute. I am a Puerto Rican/Mexican-American (tricultural) bringing my social values and diverse ideals. As a Hispanic student, I realize how important diversity is; for example, New Mexico Military Institute’s diverse culture, allows me to create long lasting friendships and insight on the importance of cultural diversity. The Corps of Cadets here at NMMI is no joke as it is ranked #1 in diversity by Boarding School Review. The characters and personalities I found here are completely different compared to other schools that I have attended. The relationships I have created here are unique, and each person I have met has a special quality about them that has allowed me to acknowledge both their character and culture. I can truly say that while attending a university, diversity plays a huge role in one’s life.
When seeking diversity on campus here at NMMI, I looked at many opportunities to express myself and find a community with others. I felt that the opportunities available to me from the different cultures and backgrounds at NMMI made me realize that different views and ideas can be positive and meaningful in many different ways.
My goal is to become a U.S. Army commissioned officer, because I want to serve my country and become a better leader. Being involved in the Early Commissioning Program (ROTC Program), I experienced diversity in working with ROTC cadets from around the world. Here at NMMI, I noticed that the various leadership styles being used in ROTC has its own repertoire of social values and techniques. I found this to be an impact of my leadership in showing me the assortment of skills used to view and solve objectives differently. Another great honor I gained from diversity is being bilingual and utilizing it in the Admissions Office, recruiting/ assisting future cadets from around the world. Not only that, but being the Regimental S-2 Provost Marshall Officer, interaction among many Spanish speaking cadets gained me more respect, credibility, and authority around the corps. Having all these experiences, coming to understand how the range of students interact in a college creates a specific work culture and environment that follows the ideals of NMMI’s honor code: Duty, Honor, and Achievement.
Diversity has helped to shape my future for an ever changing and dynamic education, and effort invested in my leadership will reflect upon my lifestyle for years to come. NMMI is very diverse across all factors. Passing my wisdom and knowledge to my longtime friends here at NMMI, I will continue to learn and prepare myself and others for the demanding role I hope to soon undertake in my life, and I can only thank NMMI for it.
By Cadet Rafael Valles