Faith leads alum degree in human services

by REBEKAH HARVEY

For Melinda Ledesma, Levelland has always been home.

She was born and raised in Levelland. She first attended St. Michael’s Catholic School, before transferring to the Levelland school system.

After graduating from Levelland High School in 1988, Ledesma enrolled in college.

“A week after high school graduation, I immediately started college at Incarnate Word in San Antonio,” Ledesma said. “I transferred to South Plains College after completing the 1988 fall semester at Incarnate Word.”

Ledesma began college majoring in psychology, later focusing on child psychology.

She said her experience while at SPC was memorable.

“I participated in organizations, clubs, and events on campus,” recalls Ledesma. “I was a member of the Spanish Club and Choral program. I was blessed to have a Spanish instructor who took me under her wing and helped me plan my degree in order to graduate with my Associate of Arts.”

After Ledesma graduated from SPC, she transferred to Texas Tech University. She majored in child psychology there as well. During this time, she got married and started a family, which later caused her to put her studies on hold.

After taking a break to raise her children, Ledesma realized she wanted to work in education.

“I experienced a time in my life where I wanted to become an educator,” explained Ledesma, “and had a difficult realization of how important it was to have my bachelor’s degree.”

Ledesma returned to SPC and gained all of the necessary credits needed to transfer to Wayland Baptist University. She decided to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in human services, and she will graduate from WBU in May.

Ledesma, who serves as the administrative assistant for the Vice President for Student Affairs at SPC, has three daughters who have all attended SPC.

Outside of work, Ledesma enjoys photography.

“I am an amateur photographer,” said Ledesma. “I enjoy natural light, nature, still life, and portrait photography.”

Ledesma is also heavily involved in her church, St. Michael’s Catholic Church, and the Catholic Student Ministry on campus.

“CSM has been my passion for ministry on campus,” said Ledesma. “It has been an amazing experience meeting extraordinary and faith-filled students on campus, who will eventually carry their passion with them when they transfer, carrying their faith wherever they go on their college career.”

Ledesma says that even though she knew how important having a college education is, she didn’t have the opportunity to go back to college. South Plains College makes the process of going back to school better for students.

“There are many opportunities to pursue a degree or certificate program at South Plains College,” said Ledesma. “South Plains College’s efforts to help students succeed allows us as students to transfer to the university of our choice and continue a degree and graduate with the confidence we have earned a quality education.”

Ledesma hopes her story will encourage others who may have had to put their education on hold like she did.

“As an employee of South Plains College,” Ledesma said, “I am not only proud to graduate from SPC, but to also work for an institution that takes great pride in the success of our students.”