Since the age of 4, Diego Rivero has dreamt of one day attending an Ivy League school and becoming an anesthesiologist.

Diego is now 11 years old, and his dream hasn’t changed, but he eagerly toured New Mexico State University as part of the William Conroy Honors College’s Day as an NMSU Student program, which hosted groups of Sonoma Elementary School and Sierra Middle School students May 3. During the day, students learned more about the astronomy, computer science, physics and communication departments and the Creative Media Institute, and toured a couple of dorm rooms at Garcia Hall.

“I liked learning about new jobs and opportunities,” Diego said about the tour. “I also liked seeing the dorms. I like the size; they’re a good size for two people.”

Before the tour, Diego had only been to the NMSU campus to attend sporting events. His father, Antero Jimenez, joined Diego on the tour, and said he found it a good opportunity for his son to learn more about going to college.

“They get to learn what they’re getting themselves into and gain an awareness of what’s to come,” Jimenez said. “Any age is a good age to start thinking about college.”

Anne Hubbell, associate dean of the Honors College, said the Day as an NMSU Student tours began five years ago and has continued since with the exception of 2020, following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The tours began with about 100 students in 2019, and has grown to about 205 students participating this year.

The idea came from a parent volunteer at Sonoma who noticed that several students in fifth grade had already decided they weren’t going to college.

“They had never been on the NMSU campus, and didn’t know about the opportunities we have here,” Hubbell said. “She came to me and the school’s counselor and asked if we could host them at NMSU for tours. We brought them in, gave information on different majors to teachers, and now those kids are juniors in high school and some of them are coming back to NMSU.”

Hubbell said the tour also gives students a taste of student life. Not only do they tour dorm rooms, but they have lunch at Taos Restaurant inside Corbett Center Student Union. They were escorted around campus by graduate students from the communication studies department, high school students involved with Future Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, and NMSU Honors College ambassadors and students, who all volunteered their time to support the program.

“Getting them here on campus is changing the lives of these kids,” Hubbell said. “I think NMSU does a good job recruiting from high schools and some middle schools, but some of these kids don’t realize that they have a lot of potential, and they decide they aren’t going to college. Getting them here and physically enacting being a college student changes their minds.”

NMSU offers several in-person campus visits throughout the year to prospective students. To schedule a tour, visit .

The full article can be seen at

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