Dual enrollment students from Tucumcari High School built a memorial website in honor of Patrick “Lil Pat” Gonzales, a classmate who died in Oct., for their final in CIS 101: Introduction to Computers at Mesalands Community College.
Building a website is not a typical finals project for CIS 101, said Michael Bilopavlovich, course instructor.
Bilopavlovich said before Gonzales death, he was enrolled in the computer course that covers a variety of subjects including Microsoft Office, photo and video editing and some web design but not in the depths of building a website. He said following Gonzales’ death the students approached him about creating a website to honor their friend.
“My family and I appreciate the students for building the website,” said Patrick Gonzales, Gonzales’ father. “Its a good thing and would like to see it continue to grow.”
Bilopavlovich said the class’ mid-term papers were students memories of Gonzales and a they each brought in photos to create a power point presentation.
“This is something that the kids put heart and soul into and they did a fantastic job,” Bilopavlovich said. “It is a reflection of their abilities and their desire to honor their friend.”
On Dec. 9 the class unveiled their website to Gonzales’ family and friends and administrators from Mesalands and Tucumcari High School, during a grilled cheese sandwich breakfast.
“I was really touched. I know a lot of kids were affected by my son’s death. He was a good boy and he had a kind heart. He would have given the shirt off his back to help his fellow students and classmates, anyway he could,” said Debbie Montano, Gonzales’ mother. “I find it just phenomenal that they reciprocated and came together to create this beautiful website in his memory. I hope we can continue to grow the website to keep his memory alive.”
Josue Grajeda, a THS dual enrollment student, read one of the statements on the website that he thought best described Gonzales: “Patrick was always a happy guy. It was hard to make him angry and if you did it was kind of funny! This led him to be friends with almost everyone he met. He was an amazing guy!”
For the event the students made Gonzales’ favorite food, grilled cheese sandwiches. They had many different grilled cheese sandwiches at the event, including one with peanut butter for the attendees to try.
“I’m very proud of our students that took it on themselves to honor Pat through a website, that will allow us to remember him for years to come,” said Dr. Thomas Newsom, Mesalands president.
The kids in this community have been amzing through all of this, said Heather Gonzales, Gonzales’ stepmother.
“The kids have text to see how we are doing, and show up at the house just to check up on us,” Gonzales said.
Gonzales said the families appreciate what Mesalands staff and the students have done in building this website.
“I know ‘Lil Pat’would have been so embarrased by all of this attention,” Gonzales said.
To view the memorial website for Patrick “Lil Pat” Gonzales, visit: http://elchapoloco.myfree.website.