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Success Story

Success Story

Featured Student: Carlos Pacheco December Graduate 
Gordon Bernell is not your normal school. Our students are not your normal students. We like it this way. Many of our students come to us, having lived lives of choices made already: some good, some bad – some unavoidable and out of survival. Many if not all of our students, however, come to us with dreams. We as teachers often get to talk to our students individually about what those dreams in fact are. They talk about things that they desire in life, and careers and places they want to see their ambitious selves end up. We as a staff try and encourage, expedite, and strategize when we have those “dreamy” students in our presence. We realize that they are empowered by their goals.
With a little bit of encouragement and belief, people can accomplish amazing things. We here at Gordon Bernell have a prime example of someone who took our encouragement and used it to shoot for the stars! In December of 2012, Gordon Bernell ushered across the stage a new batch of high school graduates. Among that group: Carlos Pacheco. Mr. Pacheco came to us not a year prior to that day with the goal of graduating. He had completed quite a bit of high school credit in the years he was originally enrolled. Now in his thirties, and with the focus and drive to finish up, he got off our elevator motivated in a way that we never saw fade. Mr. Pacheco’s high school journey began in 1987 at Taos High School. On his first time around the education block, Mr. Pacheco earned all but 7 credits required for graduation. He then spent 25 years making some questionable choices and mistakes. He did, however, in 2012 find the desire to finish something he had started so long ago. He found his way to Gordon Bernell Charter School; this large step turned a good student, into a great student!
As he pushed through English, Math, Social Studies, and College Success courses, he opened up about what he wanted his future to be. On more than one occasion Mr. Pacheco told our staff, “I want to go to barber college.” One of our school counselors looked into some help for Mr. Pacheco; he was awarded some financial assistance, pending his graduation from high school, to begin studying at one of Albuquerque’s barber colleges. Although our graduation was set for June, Mr. Pacheco finished all the requirements by April. He was motivated by the promise of more for his future. Not long after the capped and gowned Carlos Pacheco walked across the stage and turned his tassel, was he enrolled and clipping customers.
Today, Mr. Pacheco is half-way through his education as a student barber, and one day, he hopes to own his own shop. He knows from his experience at Gordon Bernell that he has a support system that believes in him. Now, we are confident in his abilities to believe in himself. It only takes determination and dedication to accomplish one’s goals; Mr. Pacheco is living/clipping proof – Here’s to you Mr. Pacheco, congrats on being a Gordon Bernell “Success Story”!

Today I am the Director of Asphalt Services for an engineering firm in Dallas, three years clean and sober, getting married, got joint custody of my son, own two homes and graduating college this fall!

— Bruce Sprackeln


"I am thankful for Gordon Bernell Charter School and that the teachers work with folks like us. They must have good hearts."

— Manuel Bustamante


" I like the school because they don't judge us for being on probation or CCP. They still treat me with respect and don't judge me as a criminal, that's what is making me be successful. They talk to me one-on-one, and help. I respect GBCS."

— Jaime Varela


"A good thing about this program is that I could study at my own pace, so I've moved ahead to increase my chances of graduating a lot quicker...So far I've seen one person graduate. Watching that person graduate motivated me to work harder."

— Arnold Jones

"Please say thank you for me to all the teachers. Hanna, Mrs. Kimberly, Mrs. Pate, Mr. Agelus. Mr. Kerry. Mr. Jhonatan. and thank you Mr. Gallegos...thank to my English teachers I am able to write this letter. even with mistakes"

— Manuel Rivera-Paredes


"A short while after attending your school at MDC I saw [my son's] attitude change. I saw his self esteem grow and he told me that he finally saw another future for himself. He no longer thinks that being a meth cook is all he can be."

— Maureen Jones