EUNICE — Janelle Lujan, the salutatorian of Eunice High School’s Class of 2022, gained an interest in medical service early in life. She hopes to make it her career.
After a year of gaining basic courses at the New Mexico Junior College, where she already has some classes in her resume, Janelle expects to enter the sonography program at Midland College.
Sonography is a diagnostic medical procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves, also called ultrasound, to produce dynamic visual images of organs, tissues or blood flow inside the body.
The procedure is often referred to as a sonogram or ultrasound exam and many new parents-to-be recognize the process as developing the first picture of their unborn child.
The youngest of three children, Janelle is the 18-year-old daughter of Victor and Yanel Lujan. She said her father works in the oilfield and her mother passed away when Janelle was 13 years old.
It was during the time of her mother’s hospitalization that Janelle said she gained an interest in the medical field, having spent so much time visiting her mother in the hospital environments.
The salutatorian strongly credited her oldest brother Victor, age 24, for his guidance and leadership.
“I always looked up to my older brother because he did so well in school,” Janelle said. But she acknowledged she’s closer to her 19-year-old brother Axel.
She rounded out her kudos during her graduation speech by thanking her father for his continued support during her school years.
Although she had to do well in all her classes to earn the salutatorian title, Janelle had no trouble identifying her favorite subject.
“I enjoyed math,” she said. “I always liked math.”
Janelle already has some experience in the college arena, having attended classes at NMJC.
“In my junior year, I went to the JC for the nursing program,” she said. “I enjoyed that a lot.”
Asked if she had any favorite teachers, the graduate only named one.
“I liked them all, but I’d like to thank Mrs. (Janet) Collins, my elementary teacher in fifth grade,” Janelle said. “She was always there. If someone was down or anything, she was always there. She passed away a couple of years ago.”
While making top grades in school, Janelle also worked as a waitress and cashier at a Eunice restaurant, keeping her busy every day.
She concluded the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions made classes hard to navigate, but she managed through perseverance.