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2006 Graduate – Amber Bricker

Amber BrickerZebulon Montgomery Pike was marked as a suspicious person from the moment he showed up in the Southwest. Pike had been sent by the government of the United States to map and explore the western territories, and crossed the international border into sovereign Spanish territory in the San Luis Valley of what was then northern New Mexico. His men built an armed stockade there and raised the U.S. flag over it. Looking upon Pike as a trespasser and a spy, the New Mexico Spanish soldiers arrested him and his men and escorted them down to Chihuahua, Mexico, the headquarters of the Spanish military commandante.

As they passed through Alburquerque, Pike and his captors dined with the priest of the San Felipe de Neri church, and looked around at the community. One of the first tourists to Alburquerque, Pike later reported that the Spanish people of the community were exceedingly kind, generous and hard working. The Spanish eventually released Pike and the published version of his trip “Exploratory Travels through the Western Territories, 1805-1807, by Order of the Government”.

But Pike may have had a more lasting impact on the city he passed through than he intended. His map of the trip drops the letter “r” from Alburquerque and labels the friendly community, Albuquerque, the misspelling of its original name that persists today.
The city was named after the Duke of Alburquerque, viceroy of New Spain and remains fourth on the list of Most Misspelled Cities.

Meet a young lady from Albuquerque that knows here three “rs” thanks to Citizens’ High School. This is one of our greatest success stories. Please meet Ms. Amber Bricker.

Amber is now enrolled in college not just pursuing a baccalaureate degree, but a PHD in psychology. One may be tempted to dismiss her goal with a “yeah right”, as she has heard before. She heard it when she dropped out of high school for the second time. No one gave her a chance of ever earning a high school diploma after that decision. Amber defied the odds and earned a fully accredited high school diploma from Citizens’ High School this past October.

Amber is a passionate individual with a zest for knowledge. Unfortunately for her, she allowed peer influences to shape decisions for her that caused many problems. Amber discovered that being a high school drop out with a spotty record does not look to good on a resume. After dropping out of school the second time, she was fortunate to find a job in the local library. While working there, her supervisor saw raw potential in her as well as the passion previously mentioned. Together they researched possible solutions to Amber’s drop-out status. Ms. Bricker liked what Citizens’ had to offer. Our tuition, payment options, and curriculum won her over. Amber finally got serious about school and buckled down. She worked very hard and completed three and a half academic years in two years time. She graduated with honors much to the dismay of the nay say’ers.

We here at Citizens’ High School have every confidence that someday you will address Ms. Amber Bricker as Doctor Bricker. We are proud of her not only for earning a diploma, but for taking control of her life and being responsible for her decisions. Any high school’er will tell you the power peer pressure can have. For rejecting this power, we award the future doctor of psychology.

Miss Amber Bricker is Citizens’ High School
“Graduate of the Month” for March 2006.