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High School Student Jade Anaya to Graduate IAIA

May 8, 2023

This May, Jade Anaya will attend two graduation ceremonies—one at Moriarty High School on May 19 and the other at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) on May 13. She will be the second high school student to graduate from IAIA with a Business and Entrepreneurship Certificate. “I’m just really proud, and especially since it’s IAIA because this is where my heart and my soul lie,” shares Nena Martinez Anaya, Jade’s mother and the IAIA Dean of Students, “and for Jade to be a part of graduation, that is—I’m just thrilled.”

Jade Anaya

Jade Anaya

Jade Anaya is a participant in IAIA’s Dual Credit Program, which allows New Mexico high school students to earn both high school and college credits for free, giving them a head start on their post-secondary education. “In New Mexico, students must take at least one honors, or advanced placement, or dual credit, or distance learning course to graduate from high school,” says Nena Martinez Anaya . In 2009, the IAIA Dual Credit program started with ten students at the Walatowa Charter High School in Jemez, New Mexico, and has grown to hundreds of students across the state, encompassing 21 high schools and school districts.* Depending on the agreement, various classes may be offered online, on the IAIA campus, or directly on high school campuses, where they are taught by IAIA Dual Credit Adjunct Faculty. Select IAIA courses are offered in Cinematic Arts & Technology, Creative Writing, Indigenous Liberal Studies, Museum Studies, Performing Arts, and Studio Arts—and like Anaya, students can also undertake the 24-credit Business and Entrepreneurship Certificate completely online, involving them in the college experience.

What began as a missed deadline for classes at Central New Mexico Community College (CNM), Moriarty High School’s typical dual credit partner, became an opportunity for Jade Anaya to take courses online at IAIA instead, explains her mother. “But I said, ‘Oh, hey! We have dual credit classes here.’ And then I started showing her what we had, and she was like, ‘Wow, yes, I want to try it,’” says Nena Martinez Anaya. “So, she tried her first business class, and really, really liked it. And so, what it did is it opened the door for all of Moriarty-Edgewood School district to take these classes, and it’s really just such a wonderful opportunity for students because it’s free for them.”

Not only did Jade Anaya become interested in business, but she also realized she could connect the program to her other interests in kinesiology and physical therapy. “So, I actually had two business plans, because at first, when I started the course, I just had created a fun one,” she explains. “And then once I wanted to do kinesiology, that’s what gave me the idea like, ‘Oh, I can make this as a business.’ And that’s what kind of inspired me to keep going with the classes. It’s like, ‘Oh, I can go into kinesiology and then also have my own business with it.”

Jade Anaya completed the certificate in two years. “I started my junior year, and I took two classes each semester, and then I took two classes in the summer,” she shares. The flexibility of the online IAIA classes allowed Anaya to work on them during a free period at school, at home if she needed to, and during the summer. “And yeah, with that I did have to kind of create time. But since it was in the summer, you had a big opening to get your work done, and each class, you had about a week to do your assignment, so it was pretty flexible and working with times and stuff,” Anaya explains.

One of her favorite classes was Advanced Entrepreneurship, which she took this year. “And like this year, it was kind of using everything from the previous years to actually create balance sheets, and just actually creating the business startup,” she details. “And I enjoyed doing that a lot this year because it allowed you to be kind of creative with it, too.”

She advises those interested in taking classes at IAIA to apply. “I would encourage them to, because the classes and stuff are really great for like—especially the business ones—those were really great … introducing me to business entrepreneurship, because without those classes, I wouldn’t have even thought about them, so I would encourage them to try it.

Additionally, Jade Anaya, who belongs to the National Honor Society, has been taking another 12 credits of classes at CNM. She plans on studying kinesiology at New Mexico State University in the fall.

“I started working here when Jade was one, so Jade’s been a part of IAIA for a long time,” reveals Nena Martinez Anaya. “and so I’m just overwhelmed with pride and joy….”

For more information visit IAIA’s Dual Credit Program or contact the Office of Admissions Dual Credit Program at (505) 424-2325 or, or Tyisha Mitchel, Outreach Coordinator, at (505) 424-2312.

*IAIA has dual credit agreements with APS Career Enrichment Center, Albuquerque Public Schools, Native American Community Academy, Academy for Technology & the Classics, Bernalillo High School, Cuba High School, Espanola Valley Public Schools, Mescalero Apache High School, Moriarty Edgewood Public School District, Native American Community Academy, New Mexico Academy for the Media Arts, New Mexico School for the Arts, Pecos Independent School District, Pojoaque Valley High School District, Rio Rancho High School, Santa Fe Public Schools, Santa Fe Indian School, Shiprock High School, Tierra Encantada Charter High School, Walatowa Charter High School, and Zuni High School.

Quotes have been edited for brevity and clarity.