NVC Distinguished Graduate Mark Sanchez

May 9, 2024


Creating Your Own Community

Mark Sanchez’s journey after leaving the Army in 2022 epitomizes resilience and determination in the face of uncertainty. As a medic during the challenging times of COVID, he experienced firsthand the demanding and taxing nature of military service. Despite his dedication to helping others, Mark realized that his time in the military had reached its conclusion. This marked the beginning of a new chapter in his life, one filled with exploration and the pursuit of his true passions.

In reflecting on his high school years, Mark said he initially lacked a clear roadmap for his post-secondary education. Opting to pursue medicine in the military seemed like a practical choice at the time. However, he found himself at a crossroads upon completing his military service. Moving to San Antonio provided a fresh start, but Mark felt adrift without a clear path forward. It was during this period of uncertainty that he discovered Northwest Vista College (NVC).

At NVC, Mark's journey toward self-discovery gained momentum. His inherent love for engaging with people led him to choose Psychology as his field of study. Reflecting on his transition, Mark humorously recalls how his brief stint in a cubicle-style office job post-military life felt isolating, highlighting the stark contrast between military camaraderie and civilian work environments.

Mark's dedication and active involvement at NVC did not go unnoticed. His commitment to excellence earned him the prestigious Distinguished Graduate Award. He has also been appointed an Alamo Global Ambassador and will travel to Spain this summer where he hopes to learn about issues from cross-cultural perspectives. The NVC Distinguished Graduate award is a new designation, sponsored by GM Financial, recognizing student involvement in clubs, holding leadership roles, community involvement and commitment to NVC.

Abreetta Bonner, NVC's director of Community Collaborations, commends Mark's active involvement in various clubs and activities, underlining his role in fostering a sense of community and aiding fellow students in connecting with valuable resources.

Mark’s leadership in clubs like Phi Theta Kappa, the Student Government Association, the Psychology Club, and the Alamo Colleges Student District Council has opened doors to new and exciting opportunities. These experiences included attending conferences, presenting research, and engaging with peers, which added to his educational journey and fueled his passion for Psychology.

Looking towards the future, Mark has set his sights on pursuing a doctoral degree in Psychology at St. Mary’s University. His ultimate goal is to make a significant impact on society by either assisting individuals undergoing stroke treatment or delving into research on neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Mark’s advice to fellow students echoes his own transformative experience: “Get involved in some capacity.”

He emphasizes the importance of actively participating in college life beyond academics, as it fosters a sense of community and personal growth.

About Northwest Vista College:  

Northwest Vista College (NVC), part of the Alamo Colleges District, is designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution. The college opened in 1995 with 12 students and has grown to one of the largest institutions of higher education in San Antonio and the region with current enrollment exceeding 19,000 students. Located in Westover Hills, NVC’s expanding agreements with business and higher education partnerships provide a wealth of opportunities for students and the community.