"During my time as a student at Eastern New Mexico University, the Financial Aid Office was extremely helpful. I went into education with the hope of helping students further their education, and, in this position at ENMU, I get to help students do just that," states Leeanne LeClear, a tracking clerk in the Office of Financial Aid.
Leeanne provides support staff for the financial aid specialists, and manages and tracks incoming documents. She enjoys helping students learn more about the financial aid process, as well as learning about it herself.
She says, "I hope to increase my knowledge about financial aid and how it can help students to achieve their goal of obtaining their degrees. I also would like to advance and play a larger role in the entirety of the office itself."
The ENMU alumna graduated with a bachelor's degree in history and English in 2010, then with a master's degree in secondary education in 2014. While at Eastern, Leeanne was a member of the ENMU History Guild and on staff at "The Chase" newspaper. She was also awarded distinction when she graduated.
The ENMU campus is special to Leeanne because of the sense of community within the staff and students. She says, "There is always someone willing to help out and give advice when and where it is needed."
After graduating college, Leeanne was a substitute teacher in Clovis Municipal Schools, then a pharmacy cashier at Walmart in Portales. She began her position as a tracking clerk at ENMU this fall.
Leeanne was born in Turlock, California, but has lived in Portales for more than 20 years. Leeanne was named the Roosevelt County Fair Princess in 2004 and the Roosevelt County Fair Queen in 2006. Before their passing, her mother was a stay-at-home mom, and her father was a dairy farmer in Portales.
Throughout her life, Leeanne's mother has been her role model. "She was not perfect, and I know that now more than I did as a kid, but she worked hard to take care of her family and gave selflessly however she could. She also taught me that I had to take time for myself or I might lose who I am and what I want," she says.
Leeanne has been married for eleven years and has a 21-month-old son, who motivates her to be the best version of herself. She says, "I want to set a good example for him in what he is capable of and how he should treat people."
In her free time, Leeanne enjoys reading, building projects with her husband and traveling, listing her favorite places as Seattle, Washington; Fort Walton Beach, Florida; and Southern California.
She also horseback rides and volunteers at Abrazos Adventures: the Horse Connection, a riding school just outside of Portales. The owner, Wendy Toombs, is a friend of their family who works with children in surrounding areas. "[Wendy] is a large part of the inspiration for my desire to teach and help students," Leeanne shares.