The World Told this Student that College Wasn't Possible. He Proved Them Wrong.

It took years for David Tetrault to come back to school after he was discouraged from getting a degree. But then he enrolled at CNM and is on a bright path to success
January 09, 2024

David Tetrault did not do well in school. He has a learning disability and back when he was in high school there was not a lot of extra support, nor encouragement. In fact his guidance counselor once told him that college was not a good option because of his academic struggles.

“I spent most of my time in high school feeling like an outcast, and I know I didn’t achieve as much as I could have because of the attitude teachers and administrators had toward students with learning disabilities,” he says.  

After he graduated, David tried college but wasn’t focused. Instead, he got a job at Wells Fargo. This was a stroke of luck because the industry suited him and he immediately landed in a healthy work environment where he was surrounded with positive co-workers and encouraged to grow both personally and professionally.

Over the next 15 years, David worked his way up the career ladder, eventually becoming the Operations Manager for all commercial banking at US Bank. 

“The first position I applied to at US Bank required a bachelor’s degree, which I didn’t have at the time, but I decided to send in my application anyway,” he explains. “They took a chance on me because of my experience, enthusiasm, and coachability. Later that year I was promoted to the operations manager position, but even then I felt like an imposter because I didn’t have my degree.”

This is when David decided it was time to try college again. He enrolled in CNM’s Business Administration program in the 2020 Spring semester, and it wasn’t long before all of his classes were moved online due to the pandemic. Nonetheless, school became an anchor for him. 

“School was a welcome relief from all of the anxiety I was feeling at work and gave me something to do when there was nothing to do,” he says. “I had such a great experience with my instructors, and I had access to resources that helped me with my learning disabilities, like read-aloud textbooks, that made going back to school so much easier.”

David graduated from CNM in 2023 and quickly enrolled at Eastern New Mexico University to earn his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Today he’s also the Senior Business Banking Relationship Manager at Bank of Albuquerque, where he helps local businesses receive financial support. 

As he reflects on his educational journey, David is deeply grateful for the support and encouragement he received at CNM, and is proud of how far he’s come. 

“I’ll never forget when one of my CNM instructors told me I should pursue a master’s degree because it was the first time an educator told me they believed in me,” he says. “I have always felt supported at CNM and I am so grateful that I was able to show the younger version of myself that college is a possibility.”