ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Mike Carbo ’76 provides impactful service to Cadets

By Noell Barnidge
When Mike Carbo, Benedictine Military School Class of 1976, joined BC’s Guidance and College Counseling Office to help Cadets with career services last November, his objective was to give back to his alma mater by helping Cadets explore and experience various potential jobs and careers.

Carbo came to Benedictine after a 30-plus-year career as the co-owner/founder of Electrical Equipment Upgrading (EEU), an electrical engineering firm. As a business owner, Carbo oversaw all aspects of business operations as he led a team of 24 people and managed a 25,000-square-foot facility. Prior to his retirement in October 2022, Carbo was involved in every facet of EEU’s business operations. He also served 34 years in the Georgia Air National Guard until retiring in 2014.

At Benedictine, Carbo is working to build rapport with businesses in Savannah and surrounding areas that offer internship, co-op, or other work pathways to create opportunities for Cadets to explore and experience various potential jobs/careers. He talks with Cadets about their career interests and connects them with opportunities that explore those interests and college career pathways. He plans to bring guest speakers to BC to talk with Cadets about career opportunities in various trades, both professional and vocational. He also works closely with BC’s Guidance and College Counseling Office to ensure opportunities are available for all Cadets who want them, and to identify Cadets who would benefit from alternate plans of higher education (technical schools/trade schools).


How Carbo chose to return to Benedictine seems like divine intervention. Carbo is a communicant at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church, and he is in his fourth year in the diaconate program. He and his wife, Nancy Owens Carbo, have five children: Brooks ’99, Bryan ’01, Nicholas ’13, Natalie, and Neil ’19. Carbo is active in the community and volunteers as a member of the finance committee at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. He volunteered as Blessed Sacrament Catholic School’s Athletic Director from 2005-14, and he serves on the building and planning committee for the Knights of Columbus Council 631.

“About four years ago, I went to Fr. (Brett) Brannen (at Blessed Sacrament) and told him that I needed to talk,” Carbo said. “We had just finished bird hunting, I believe, and I said, ‘Look, I need to come by your office. I’m struggling with some stuff.’ He said, ‘Sure, come on by.’ I went over there, and he said, ‘What’s going on?’ I said, ‘Look, I’ve shut the door on Christ I can’t tell you how many times and somehow, He has opened the door back up. I’m thinking about joining the deaconate program.’ And he said, ‘The deaconate program? Mike, what do you know about the deaconate program? You want to marry people?’ And, to quote, I said, ‘Hell, Father, I didn’t know deacons could marry people.’ He looked at me and he said, ‘What do you know about this program?’ I said, “Father, it’s a program of service to Christ, the church, the flock.’ He said, ‘That’s about as best of an answer as you can give.’

“Father said, ‘Well, what is it that you really want to do?’ I said, “Father, I want to go back to BC. I want to go back to BC, and I want to give back. I credit that school for a lot of my success and where I’m at today.’ He said, ‘That’s a wonderful idea.’ Anyway, to make a long story short, I sent an email to (BC Principal) Dr. (Jacob) Horne. I think I talked with (BC Director of Admissions) Brennan Lemieux (’01) and laid some groundwork with Brennan, and Brennan said, ‘Man, I think that’s a wonderful idea.’ Then I met with (BC Headmaster) Fr. Frank (Ziemkiewicz, O.S.B.) and Dr. Horne, and basically, what I told them was that I was going into the deaconate (program), and this is my gameplan, and part of my ministry is I want to come back to BC and be a mentor to young men.’

“And then COVID hit,” Carbo said, pausing. “And everything I had planned just went away.”


“I’ll never forget, I had been in the (deaconate) program about two years, and I said to Fr. Brannen, ‘I just don’t think this BC thing is going to work out.’ He said, ‘Mike, don’t worry about it. God will put you in the place where He wants you to be.’ So here I am, I’m in my last year in the deaconate program, finishing up my last semester and, four months ago, I get a call from (BC Director of Guidance and College Counseling) Mrs. (Sheila) Crossley. We sat down and talked, and Mrs. Crossley said that what they wanted to do was have someone be a liaison for some of these young men who knew they weren’t college material even though they were still being pushed to go to college. I said, ‘This is right up my alley. This is great.’

“We started off and got me up to speed,” Carbo continued. “All of a sudden, I have young men making appointments. And I tell you what, to be quite honest with you, my faith in this world was wavering. I mean, you look at the world and where we’re at, and what’s going on. We’ve taken God out of everything as a society, and it just seems like we’re collapsing on top of ourselves. And I have been taken aback by some of these young men. There have been several encounters with several Cadets who have totally taken me backwards. It’s really put a lot of faith back into the leadership of who is going to be controlling this country in 20 years. Really good stuff.”


One day, Carbo met with representative from Colonial Group “and they got to talking about these job fairs that they go to,” he said. “And I thought, why aren’t we doing that?”

In March, Carbo organized the first BC Career Fair. Nearly two dozen local businesses participated by sending representatives to talk with Cadets, as well as alumni.

“We had big boys in there,” Carbo proudly said of the businesses that were represented. “We had International Paper, Colonial Group, Georgia Ports Authority, Chatham County Sheriff’s Department, IBEW, it was just a huge career fair that we did for the Cadets. And, as it would happen, we provided this for the alumni, and we had two alumni who were hired out of that job fair. We had one that went to United Rentals and the other one went to International Paper. In my vision, in my thoughts, for us to have only been doing this for two or three months … if we help two or three Cadets make a decision and we help their path in life become a better path, why not do it?”

Carbo is creating a plan for basic summer internships for Cadets who plan to attend college or want to learn a trade.


“We’ve planted seeds and it’s growing,” Carbo said. “And I think it’s just going to continue to grow. We, as a society, have brainwashed not only the students, but the parents have been brainwashed, to think that if you don’t go to college then you’re not going to make anything out of yourself. It is just so far from the truth that it is sad. And let me make this very clear. Very, very clear. We are not dissing college. If you’re the valedictorian of Benedictine, you probably should be going to college. If you’re a straight-A student or have a 3.0 then you should probably be going to college.

“But just because you’re college material, a lot of them don’t know what they want to do in college,” he continued. “I bring to the table 65 years of experience. I sat down with a young man, and he said, ‘I’m not sure about college.’ He likes working with his hands. I said, ‘Look, son, you’ve got the grades. You’ve got the aptitude to go to college. You’re wavering and you just need to pick a road and stay on the road. You like working with your hands. You like mechanical. Why don’t you earn a degree in mechanical engineering? You’ve got both worlds. You’ve got the mechanics of machinery and you’ll have the education to back it up. All we’re doing is putting alternate paths out there. You have to go to school. Whether it’s college or trade school, you have to go to school. You can’t just walk out of (BC) and flounder.”

BC is, without question, a better place because of Carbo.

“I look at BC as a tradition,” he said. “This is where you go. This is where you send your son. Period. Final. Over and out. There are no other choices. And it’s a school that just follows you for the rest of your life. I don’t care where you’re at, what part of the United States you’re in, it just follows you for the rest of your life. It’s unbelievable. This school is better than any college that you could ever graduate from. It really is.”