2023 Inspiring Graduate | Cassandra Huneau
May 12, 2023 - Mary Beth King
ust a week before the excitement of commencement at The University of New Mexico, graduating senior Cassandra Huneau stood in front of an audience at the College Basic Needs in New Mexico Data Sharing Symposium and related her encounters with hunger and housing insecurity. The audience included UNM President Garnett Stokes and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
“I grew up without much money and attended a high school in Detroit that didn’t even have textbooks,” she told the group.
At the age of 34, Huneau attended three different colleges, supporting herself the whole time.
“And it’s been scary,” she said. She moved to New Mexico two years ago.
Huneau told the symposium group of her struggle for food, as well as being homeless, then living in an apartment complex with unsafe conditions, and having her car stolen. Getting adequate food is a challenge, she told the crowd, and she and her friends suffer from hunger and fatigue, sometimes falling asleep as they study.