Broad Horizons takes second chance at high school dance

By Tony Parra

Prom is taken for granted by many high schoolers, but not for Broad Horizons students who participated in the first prom for Broad Horizons in three years.
One Broad Horizons official said in previous years, students didn’t have as much interest in having a prom and that is why there was no prom in 2003 and 2002.
“This is a great group of kids,” Broad Horizons Principal Sharon Haught said. “They’re very excited and they spent a lot of time raising money and working hard on decorations. A lot of credit has to be given to the senior sponsor, Michelle Chambers.”
Chambers said many of the students who attend Broad Horizons are young mothers, high school dropouts and other students who, for whatever reason, didn’t want to attend any of the area schools.
“I had one of the teachers ask me what I was doing there (Broad Horizons) with my credentials,” Chambers said. “It makes me so mad, because we have wonderful teachers and we have great students. They (other teachers) think it’s a bad school, but nothing could be further from the truth.”
Haught said there are six seniors with certified nursing assistant certification and many students are planning on going to college.
For Rosina Cerda, her path is already set as she plans to move to Albuquerque in the summer. Cerda said she was accepted by ITT Technical Institute in Albuquerque and wants to go into a career in digital entertainment.
“I’ve always been interested in computers,” Cerda said. “I’m doing what I wanted to do.”
Monique Diaz, who is planning on attending Clovis Community College to go into nursing, said what attracted her to Broad Horizons was the class sizes.
“I didn’t like the class sizes at the (Portales) high school,” Diaz said. “I’m able to get more one-on-one attention at Broad Horizons.”
That was the biggest reason Juan Prado attended Broad Horizons until December after attending Floyd High School. Prado said he had A’s and B’s while he was going to Floyd, but something was missing.
“I heard good things about Broad Horizons,” Prado said. “I wanted to change schools and asked about a change to Broad Horizons. The teachers at Broad Horizons made learning fun. The classes are flexible.”
Prado is currently attending Eastern New Mexico University and is taking 16 credit hours. He said he has four A’s and one B in his classes. Prado said he’s seen negative views from other kids when he told them he was attending Broad Horizons.
“Some of my cousins would tell me the school was only full of rejects,” Prado said. “They just don’t know about the school. It’s a great school and the students try to learn.”
Haught said the students do have to face obstacles, such as the way they are viewed by other people, but that doesn’t keep her students from trying to get an education.
“If they were really bad kids they wouldn’t be trying to get an education,” Haught said. “They would have just gave up after dropping out and not tried to get an education.”
Haught and Chambers said since the students decided to have a prom, many people from the community have offered their help. The prom took place at the Roosevelt Rough Riders facility, donated for use by the Portales National Bank President David Stone. Rick Segovia, Steiner Elementary Principal, was the music deejay for the event.
“The community has come together to help us,” Haught said. “Everyone pitched in. There were many beautiful dresses donated. It has been a wonderful experience.”
Haught said there were also donations from Hestand Floral, The Garden Spot and The Roosevelt Restaurant.