Faces of CNM: Jorge Gonzalez

Jorge didn’t like traditional high school. Then he transferred to the College and Career High School and started taking dual credit classes. Now he’s on track for a promising welding career with brighter hopes for the future.
January 26, 2021

Jorge Gonzalez felt like he was just going through the motions during his freshman year of high school. "I went to class and played baseball,” he said, but he wasn’t motivated about his school work.

Seeing his lack of interest, Jorge’s parents decided to transfer him to the College and Career High School (CCHS) on CNM’s Main Campus. This allowed him to take high school classes but also explore college-level classes while simultaneously working toward his high school diploma and a CNM certificate or degree.

At CNM he quickly discovered the welding program and his educational outlook changed. The process of building something from scratch clicked and he felt like he’d found his calling.

“I found the whole process to be a lot of fun,” Jorge says. “Being able to look at a completed project and say ‘I did that’ is a really good feeling. I also like that I still have a lot to learn when it comes to welding.” 

Transitioning over to college level-classes was hard, but Jorge says he always had support from his instructors and his fellow classmates. The instructors were happy to stay after class to help explain a concept, and his classmates helped keep him on track. 

“I am kind of shy, so I didn’t ask a lot of questions, but the teachers were always there to help with whatever I needed,” he says. 

Today, Jorge is a senior at CCHS. When he graduates this spring, he plans to stay at CNM and complete his Welding Certificate. His goal is to be a pipeline welder, but he might also look for work at a mechanic shop and even go into teaching. 

When asked how CNM and CCHS have helped him the most, Jorge says they both allowed him to understand what success looks like. He said he quickly learned that if you can find something you’re passionate about, and then work hard, the possibilities are endless. 

“Before I came to CCHS and CNM I didn’t really believe in myself,” he says. “But once I got here I finally understood what I’m capable of achieving.”  

CCHS is open to freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. College tuition and registration fees are free to the high school student and the textbook costs are covered by APS.