by: HANNA NELSON/Staff Writer
Faithful, hopeful, and enthusiastic are three words that describe Yolanda Salgado.
Salgado is the new data research assistant for South Plains College.
“Basically, when someone calls and says, ‘I need to know how many students are enrolled in this semester with a certain major and grade point average’ I run those numbers,” said Salgado.
With the numbers that Salgado runs, there are many different things that the college is able to do with the data she collects. The numbers allow the college to help as many students as possible. An example of this is that the data that is collected by Salgado can help the college see how many first-generation students there are, and help those students succeed in their college career.
Salgado has been working at SPC for five years. Before moving to her newest position, she worked as the administrative assistant to the vice president of student affairs. Salgado helped assist the vice president of student affairs to oversee many departments, including the health and wellness center, campus police, and advising center.
Salgado is from Wellman, Texas. When she was growing up, her ideal career changed constantly.
“As a kid, I was anywhere from a ballerina, to a firefighter, to a teacher,” Salgado recalls. “I was all over the place. I really didn’t know what I wanted to do.”
She attended SPC in 2004 as a general studies student. She then transferred to Texas Tech University with the mind set of becoming an architect.
“That lasted for about a semester, then I was like forget it,” explains Salgado.
From that experience, Salgado discovered her passion for people and education.
“I really love talking to people,” she says. “ I really love relating to them. I really love helping them out.”
After graduating from Texas Tech with a degree in public relations and a minor in Spanish, Salgado came back to work for SPC. She knew that her passion for learning, along with her love for helping others, is what made her want to come back to SPC.
“I love the fact that we get to help students,” says Salgado.
The department Salgado works in helps tremendously by giving other departments numbers that help get grant funding. Salgado’s role is a small but very necessary piece of SPC’s puzzle.
Salgado also enjoys getting involved with SPC in many others ways than just her day-to-day job. She also works with the Upward Bound students, who are the students whose parents and family have not attended college. She helps those students by making sure they are on the right track to success.
Salgado also is an advisor for the Catholic Student Ministries, where students can go hangout, have fun and learn about their faith, while attending college. She also volunteers to help with many of the activities that SPC hosts.
Salgado enjoys connecting with the students in as many ways as possible through the college.
“Students don’t care about what you know until they know that you care,” says Salgado. “You supporting them makes a huge difference.”
She believes that it is important for students to have someone to relate to. To her, helping the students at SPC is a constant reminder of why she took the job she has.
There are many things in Salgado’s life that are very important to her. One of them is her faith.
“It is the driving force behind everything I do,” explains Salgado. “It is not about what I want to do. It is about how to serve you.”
She is a youth minister at her church, and she teaches Sunday school classes. Another very important aspect of her life is her daughter.
“My life revolves around my daughter, ”Salgado says
She then continues, “Whatever hobbies she is in, I am in. We are doing basketball now.”
She also deeply loves her family and the support she receives from them. To her, they are the main people who help keep her grounded. She enjoys running in her free time. In high school, she was an avid runner, competing in cross country and track. She said that she would like to get back into running like she used to and participate in many activities, such as The Color Run, the Glow in the Dark Run, and other activities of that nature. She also collects anything that has to do with the Snoopy character. In her office, you will find a little “Peanuts” calendar on her desk.
As for what advice she has for students attending college, Salgado has many great words to say.
“There are so many amazing opportunities around you,” says Salgado. “Some of us just want to stay in front of the TV or Xbox, because that’s easier…Take opportunities that make you grow and think a little bit.”