Spotlight Series: Joshua Bernal
May 18, 2022
Joshua Bernal, a senior at CAST STEM High School, is set to become the first concurrent enrollment student to earn a Logistics and Supply Chain Management Associate of Applied Science from Palo Alto College and the first from any of the Alamo Colleges.
“It’s been hard work but a rewarding experience, and to be the first to graduate from this program as a high school student makes it that much more special,” he said. “I’m currently ranked fifth in my class and will be graduating with a 4.0 GPA.”
Bernal will be walking the stage on Friday, May 20, to receive his associate degree before graduating with his high school diploma. He will be accompanied by his father, who earned his logistics degree from PAC but didn’t get to walk the stage with his graduating class due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I didn’t even realize my dad would be walking the stage with me until I went to pick up my cap and gown,” Bernal said. “My mom said she would take me because my dad was busy.” As it turns out, Bernal’s father was busy picking up his own cap and gown at that same event. “I was like, hey dad, what are you doing here?”
Bernal and his father have supported each other throughout the program, studying together and sharing books. Now they’re onto the next chapter.
His dad is currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree at Texas A&M San Antonio. As for Bernal, he will be moving away to attend McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin, ranked No. 5 among the top business schools in the United States.
As he looks back on his time attending classes at PAC, Bernal is thankful for the supportive faculty who have helped him along the way and the experience he’s gained.
“Mr. Brannon has been a huge help for me in finishing this program. I’ve learned so much from him,” he said. “He was also instrumental in helping me secure a position at the San Antonio Food Bank where I would be working for my practicum.”
The experience of taking a practicum course has connected him to the real-world applications of the things he’s learned in the classroom.
“As a student, you learn the concepts online or in the classroom, but you never really know how it all ties together until you work in the field and see it firsthand,” said Bernal.
During his time at SA Food Bank, he has learned about distribution, receiving, and the intricate workings of a warehouse. He hopes to earn his forklift certification this summer before leaving for UT Austin.
Bernal said that the dual credit opportunity provided by Palo Alto College and CAST STEM High School puts him at a huge advantage since he qualifies for more opportunities with a college degree.
“Taking dual credit courses has saved my family and me a lot of money,” he said. “With my associate degree, I can go straight into the workforce and get a high-paying job. I will build on this and use it to get that bachelor’s degree.”
Palo Alto College’s Logistics and Supply Chain Management is a nationally recognized program, ranked No. 3 in the nation and awarded “Best in the West” by Intelligent.com, a student-focused comprehensive research guide. To learn more, visit alamo.edu/pac/logistics.