DeLeon Named July 2023 Staff of the Month

Published: July 18, 2023

Congratulations to College of Western Idaho (CWI) Student Success Coach, Malinda DeLeon, who was named Staff of the Month for July 2023.

DeLeon works with the College’s Work-Based Learning Center (WBLC), where she works closely to support current and incoming Workforce Development HVAC and Plumbing Apprenticeship students. Being branched under the WBLC, she also assists with resume editing, practice interviews, and maintaining relationships with local employers for possible job opportunities for CWI students.

Having been part of the CWI community since 2019, DeLeon began work at the College as security, moved to the One Stop Student Services team as a One Stop Representative, and finally transitioned to her current role with the WBLC.

“CWI is truly like a family,” said DeLeon. “It’s not just a paycheck to come to work. It’s much more than that. The relationships you build with co-workers and the students you help make working at CWI even more special.”

Being part of a student’s academic journey is one of DeLeon’s favorite aspects of the job. She makes it her mission to check on students and find out how they are feeling throughout their classes. If they are struggling, she then assists and provides support to help them succeed in their courses.

“Malinda made me truly feel as though I am supported and motivated to continue to work through and complete the program,” said a CWI student. “Too often, educators that have genuine care of their student’s success go unrecognized. It is truly the little gestures and reassurance that motivate students to thrive in an academic environment.”

Colleagues around campus have also recognized DeLeon’s ability to go above and beyond for others. Many, like Workforce Development Administrative Assistant, Shirley Antolin, say DeLeon is committed to excellence in her work and strives to uplift everyone around her.

“Malinda is innovative and shows genuine care in assisting not only Apprenticeship students but all students who seek her advice and support,” said Antolin. “She demonstrate respect towards her peers and students.

Notably, DeLeon was a huge advocate for including an Apprenticeship Certificate Ceremony at 2023 Grad Fest. The idea brought more people to celebrate Grad Fest and it honored the College’s hardworking Apprenticeship graduates as many of their family and friends watched them accept their certificates of completion at an intimate ceremony.

It was a special moment for DeLeon as she watched the smiles and laughter from the graduates who felt accomplished after working hard for four long years to earn their certificates. It was a moment that made DeLeon proud to be at CWI, one she will never forget.

“All our students want to be heard, valued, seen, and appreciated during their time with us here at CWI,” DeLeon said. “This is why it’s so important to be kind, to listen, to have empathy, and to show compassion because they will leave CWI remembering the support and advocacy that they were shown/given. They will go on to share their positive experiences with others and encourage others to also achieve their goals here at CWI.”

Outside of the College, DeLeon enjoys spending time with her husband and two Beagle mixes. She also likes to stay busy by gardening, and creating things — whether it is drawing, painting, crafting, photography, or videography. She also enjoys playing video games, hiking, camping, and fishing.

“My hobbies seem endless because I love to continue to learn new things,” said DeLeon.

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