Graduates of CNM: Diego Flores

Diego has been a budding entrepreneur since middle school and used his time at CNM and the College and Career High School to get a jumpstart on his career
April 28, 2022

Back in sixth grade Diego Flores realized that if he wanted money to hang out with his friends he was going to have to come up with a business plan. So he started selling stuff at yard sales and on Craigslist and realized he was good at business interactions.

Fast forward to the present and Diego is about to graduate from the College and Career High School on CNM’s Main Campus. It’s no surprise that he’s graduating not only from high school but also walking away from CNM with an associate degree in Business thanks to the dual credit college classes he was able to take.

“Even though I was one of the younger students at CNM, I always felt like I belonged and I learned a ton,” Diego says. “With a Business degree I’m already a big step toward my career, and I’m also ready to transfer to a larger college for my bachelor’s degree. I understand how college works and that’s set me up for success.”

The plan is to get a Business degree at UNM and hopefully attend UNM’s Anderson School of Management for an MBA. After graduation Diego wants to work for a company to build experience but then wants to open his own business. 

Right now Diego still has a side hustle selling shoes online and when he opens his business he says it will definitely revolve around apparel—shoes, shirts, hats, etc. He knows the business has to be online, but he also hopes to have a couple brick and mortar locations as well. 

Diego’s time at CCHS and CNM has already been a good lesson in money management because he saved a lot of money by becoming a dual credit student. Tuition and textbooks for CNM classes are free to all CCHS students and dual credit students, and this year’s CCHS graduating class of 52 seniors has successfully earned more than 2,600 credit hours and saved a collective $149,682 in tuition.

“Being at CCHS has truly been a great headstart for me,” he says. 

Diego says his advice for other high school students interested in CCHS is to jump in. The workload is challenging but doable, and he says the one thing dual credit students really need is self-motivation. If incoming students are organized and know how to create balance, he says they’ll succeed and benefit from everything CNM has to offer. 

“Both CNM and CCHS are here to be helpful and will ensure you succeed, but it does help to have discipline,” he says. 

Like many other first-generation students, Diego ultimately wants to make his parents proud. Both his parents are immigrants from Mexico and never had the chance to go to college. They’ve supported him on his journey and he wants to return the favor. 

“When I’m out in the business community I want to find ways to help as many people as possible succeed because that’s the best way I can repay my parents for all their help,” he says.