Graduates of CNM: Zulma Iguado

Zulma is now a teacher in Albuquerque and has dedicated herself to helping bilingual students succeed
January 20, 2022

Zulma Iguado came to Albuquerque from Chihuahua, Mexico, when she was 11. Her parents had already moved here, found jobs, and then sent for her and her two brothers. She immediately started attending school and working toward a life in New Mexico.

Zulma liked school but soon realized school was just one part of a path to success in the United States. In order to get into college and find a career she had to learn soft and life skills that could help her with everything from applying for scholarships to using technology. She also became a mom at 17, which made school harder but only added to her motivation. 

When Zulma graduated at the top of her class from the Robert F. Kennedy Charter High School back in 2016, she decided to attend CNM at the urging of her school director who paid for her first couple classes. Drawing on her own experience she decided to study education. 

“I knew that I wanted to be a teacher so that I could help other students like me in the classroom but also give them advice and teach them the skills they need to live in the outside world,” Zulma says. 

At CNM, Zulma says she was set up on a path to success from day one. Her instructors not only encouraged her to do good work, but were supportive when she struggled or needed extra time, and she developed a strong bond with her fellow students in the Teacher Education department.

“I really felt like I had a community at CNM,” she says. 

Zulma originally started in the Early Childhood Multicultural Education program but eventually switched to the Teacher Education program with a Secondary Concentration because she wanted to teach high school. At the same time, the Robert F. Kennedy school offered her a teacher’s assistant position so she worked during the day and attended classes at night. 

It took several years of hard work, but Zulma finally graduated with her associate degree this past December and immediately stepped into a full-time teacher position at Robert F. Kennedy where she’s now teaching Social Studies. That school is in the South Valley neighborhood and Zulma gets the opportunity to work with bilingual students like her every day. 

Looking forward, Zulma says she wants to keep teaching and hopes to eventually run a full bilingual program for students so that they can develop the skills to succeed wherever they want to go. 

“I want to always be able to show students like me who speak another language and maybe come from another country that if I can do it, they can do it as well,” she says.

Learn more about CNM's Education programs here