Posted: Feb 8, 2013 9:12 AM
Updated: Feb 8, 2013 9:13 AM
Madelyn Velazquez is an 8th grader at Port Isabel Junior High. So is David Hernandez. Both are kids who just yesterday were in elementary school and now they're at a different level.
GEAR UP is helping them at a very early age start thinking about going to college. But they're not on their own. They have their GEAR UP facilitators and two very special volunteers by their side a few times a week. Jocelyn and Angel are former GEAR UP students. They volunteer their time to give these students an inside look at the world of college.
Madelyn says "Jocelyn and Angel, they have been helping us a lot. And we even have book clubs and lunch. And during lunch whenever we have time, they help us alot. Angel helps me with my math class and Jocelyn helps me with my English class so it's a lot of help."
And that's what GEAR UP does best. Help kids who are willing to work hard towards attaining that goal of attending college.
"The program helps us like prepare for college and all of it to get ready so we don't have to start in high school so we could know what we are going to do by the time we go to high school."
David Hernandez says GEAR UP has been great. David enjoys what the program offers kids outside the classroom.
"GEAR UP is pretty much helping us get to college and we've gone on a couple of fun field trip to colleges and other stuff."
David also enjoys the one on one attention from his tutors.
"Pretty good. It's like more help cause the teacher, it's 20 students and I need someone there more less with me."
"It's usually in the morning where do a bunch of stuff on the board and they help us out a lot and first period I have math so angel goes with me and he makes it a lot more fun and easier."