Posted: Mar 16, 2012 8:09 AM
Updated: Mar 16, 2012 8:09 AM
In the last fifteen years, thousands of Valley students' lives have changed thanks to GEAR UP.
Some of them want to be teachers, others doctors, and lawyers.
They are the latest batch of GEAR UP students.
Denise Martinez is going back in time today. She remembers the days when college was only a dream.
"When I was in 7th grade, I did not have GEAR UP...I did not know about GEAR UP until 9th grade but in their shoes, I didn't know the first thing about college," says Denise Martinez.
Denise says it wasn't until she got involved with GEAR UP that she learned how to apply for college.
"I didn't know exactly what I wanted to be ..I knew what classes I liked, but I didn't have anyone tell me about financial aid was, scholarships or anything like that cause I'm a first generation graduate."
Denise graduated from Weslaco High School last year. Now she's a role model for these new kids on the block.
"Today I'm just helping motivate these kids and helping them become aware of college that anything is possible, just think positive and motivated for school.)
Denise says her future is bright thanks to GEAR UP.
"I definitely do see myself volunteering. It's something I enjoy to do. I look at these kids and I think of myself how I was once in their shoes and I like to see them excited and motivated for college and it's something very exciting to be a part of."