From a young age Andrea Perea has loved school and even though it has not been easy with her learning disability, she has never given up. As a child she was diagnosed with an auditory processing disorder--a disability that causes her to take longer to process words when they are spoken to her.

Despite this, Ms. Perea has worked hard to obtain her degree in Family and Consumer Sciences. She is less than a week away from becoming an Eastern New Mexico University alumnae.

“Sometimes I would just want to cry and I would feel like giving up, but from my freshman year until now I have become more confident in myself,” said Ms. Perea.

She decided to come to Eastern four years ago because she wanted to prove to herself that she could make it on her own away from her family. Her first impression of ENMU was that she was going to love it.

“My biggest fear before coming here was if I was going to be able to survive living on my own and caring for myself,” said Ms. Perea.

During her time at Eastern she never owned her own car and has had to walk to and from campus to her home off campus. During her last semester she was able to obtain an internship with the WIC offices in Portales. This has forced her to wake up very early each morning to make sure she has enough time to get to her internship. Fortunately for Ms. Perea, she has had help from her friends and has not had to walk everywhere.
“I am so happy that Eastern has helped me a lot, meeting new people, and having good resources like the writing center and tutoring,” said the grateful student, “It has given me the confidence to be involved.”

Ms. Perea is very friendly and enjoys meeting international students. She says she feels less pressure when meeting international students because they are more understanding of her disability. She says this because they understand the struggle of not always speaking correctly.

“I feel like I have improved in a lot of things, even though I still get nervous for presentations, I still feel I am not as shy and I am more open. I am happy and proud to be graduating,” said Ms. Perea.

For the future she hopes to travel and see the world from an internationals point of view.

“Portales and Albuquerque will always be my home but there is still so much out there,” said Ms. Perea.