Carlos E. Marrujo III remembers his time as a New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI) cadet well. Born and raised in Roswell, New Mexico, he didn’t have to travel far for school — but he forged a significant journey as an athletic scholar playing baseball in junior college. “I was not very good with school, particularly time management,” he shares, “but having good relationships with my teachers certainly made me feel comfortable and determined to complete the tasks they gave us.”
Teachers here pay individualised attention to each student, which was greatly beneficial to a young Marrujo. “It allows students and teachers to have an open communication about certain problems and learning styles or disabilities,” he attests. Their impact was so profound that today, Marrujo himself is an academic counsellor for junior college athletes at NMMI.
As a counsellor, he knows that extracurricular activities and athletic programmes have long-lasting benefits to student growth. “When they are put in a room with someone of a different background, culture, or even programme, students become more social and communicative,” Marrujo says. “They find lifelong friends that they would not get anywhere else.”
NMMI is more than a military school offering rigorous academic and physical education. From high school to junior college, NMMI students engage in opportunities to learn, grow, and lead among a diverse cohort. Approximately 25% of cadets come from 34 countries outside the US, including Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Panama, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Indonesia. They bring with them dreams of success in the land of opportunity.
Sustaining the cycle of effective education at New Mexico Military Institute
A typical day at NMMI starts with a march to breakfast, followed by classes and later room inspection. Cadets dine together at the mess hall during lunch and dinner. Their evenings are filled with sports practice and spending time at the study hall. This routine lays the foundation for discipline and focus, nurturing hardworking cadets with a clear vision of their goals.
For Jessica Martin from Mexico, her decision to join NMMI was inspired by her older brothers. She started as a cadet and then worked with the school — first in the admissions department, then as faculty. “The cadets at NMMI have many opportunities to grow, not just by taking challenging courses as part of our curriculum but by being leaders and making decisions not many other young people their age have to,” she observes.
Now teaching ACT and SAT prep alongside humanities subjects, Martin strives to form trusting relationships with her students. “I have several students who are no longer in my classes that come and share with me their scores on the SAT or ACT. It is very gratifying to hear of their success and know that all the work we put in together was worth it,” she relates.
Martin’s favourite memories include guiding a high school student from Bolivia last year. He arrived at NMMI shy and unable to speak much English, but responded positively to her teaching in the English Language and American Culture programme, which helps students who do not meet the English language requirements build the necessary skills to find success at NMMI. Now a junior leading the cadet corps, he speaks great English, maintains a high GPA, and is being considered for induction into the National Honor Society — and Martin couldn’t be happier for him.
College prep and career planning
During the First Year Experience and College Career Exploration Studies classes, Marrujo helps cadets hone their time management, communication, and diversity skills — three crucial traits for success beyond the institute. “The Cadet Success Committee identified twenty-five opportunities that are currently underway to support cadet success,” he elaborates. “Many of them are used in our programmes, such as Night Study Hall and the various labs. We believe that offering these opportunities at our institution would help students create a plan where these pieces fit together, which enable them to attain success.”
International students receive particular guidance before they even leave their home country. Upon arrival, they are privy to a vast spectrum of resources including orientation, early warning system, and the leadership development programme. Students also benefit from math, science, and writing labs, as well as supportive learning communities.
One of Marrujo’s proudest accomplishments is working with a student from Rwanda. A talented basketball player, he came to NMMI to chase his dream of going pro. He was named Defensive Player of the Year at NMMI, and went on to play basketball at Iona University under coach Rick Pitino. “He came to our school eager and ready to learn,” Marrujo recalls, “and was able to accomplish his dream with the help of his coaches and campus resources.”
Ultimately, New Mexico Military Institute helps unlock each students’ potential and sharpen their talents and skills. With teachers and counsellors like Marrujo and Martin to guide and support students, no dream is out of reach. Apply today to experience this transformative education.