Ombudsman Graduate Success Story: U.S. Marine Cpl. Nick Chavez (Phoenix)

Date: June 24, 2011

Ombudsman Class of 2008 graduate Cpl. Nick Chavez returned to Ombudsman to attend this year’s graduation in Phoenix. Cpl. Chavez’s former teacher, Mr. Robert Dahl, was happy for the chance to catch up and wrote to us wrote to us about his memories of Nick as a student.

Submitted by Mr. Robert W. Dahl

Nick Chavez enrolled in Ombudsman and became one of my students at Charter East during the 2007-08 school year.

By all accounts, he was a typical at-risk student. I remember Ron Grimsley, our center director at the time, was on the phone almost daily calling Nick’s mother to get him out of bed and off to school. Like many students who come to Ombudsman, I knew he needed support from teachers who cared about him and could help him succeed.

The one thing I noticed about Nick was that he was exceptionally keen or bright – when he wanted to be.

As the year progressed, we often chatted about the military, my 20-plus years with the Air Force, and the different jobs I had while I was on active duty. More so, we would discuss the life in the military after the initial boot camp or basic training period and consequently, the advantages of retirement. Regardless of any downside I mentioned, Nick always entertained the thought of enlisting in the Marine Corps.

By the time they reach graduation, many of our seniors develop an increased measure of self-esteem and improved respect for individual responsibility. Nick was no exception, and he promptly enlisted after graduating from Ombudsman in 2008. Nick is now approaching his third year as a Marine and has already earned the rank of corporal, the fourth enlisted rank in the Corps.

I talked with Nick following our recent graduation, and he stressed the Marine Corps’ appreciation for the amount of one-on-one interaction between students and teachers at Ombudsman.

I am quite proud of the way he has conducted himself and continues to represent Ombudsman.

Robert W. Dahl
Teacher, Ombudsman Charter Northwest

Categories: Alternative Education, News, Success Stories
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