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GEAR UP Student Inspires Other Family Members

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Posted: May 8, 2012 8:42 AM

Updated: Jun 14, 2012 12:16 PM

LA VILLA - A former GEAR UP student says the program inspired all of her family.

"I got the opportunity to go to UTPA free and my entire bachelor's degree was paid for... They have been an amazing help to my family financially," said Stephanie Solis.

The 2006 La Villa High School graduate is now a 7th grade math teacher at La Villa Middle School. She told us she and her brother went to collect, her father returned to school.

"He enrolled last semester after so many years," Solis said, "He's gone back and has been a great role model to my twin brothers, who we now say, ‘You have no choice. You will go to college.' If my dad can do it, so can everybody else.'

Today's GEAR UP is truly inspirational. We meet a young lady who says GEAR UP has changed everything in her life, even her family's life.

"I am part of the very first GEAR UP cohort and GEAR UP has been an amazing experience for me and it has helped me tremendously through college," says Stephanie Solis.

"Because GEAR UP has been an amazing impact on my life and has pushed me to go to college my dad has actually gone back to school. He enrolled last semester after so many years of not going back. And I think seeing my brother and I go to college and see the amazing story that we have to offer."

And Stephanie is focused on her students. Stephanie is a 2006 La Villa High graduate and is now a 7th grade mathematics teacher at La Villa Middle School.

She worries and cares about her students and she wants them to succeed just like she did.

"GEAR UP has given me the opportunity to get to where I am today. I'm very excited. I'm a second year teacher and I'm 24 and I want to be a good role model to my students. Yes they are young, but by the time they know it they will graduate from high school and they will be making their dreams come true."

Stephanie plans to get her masters in education and teach her students that they can reach their goals no matter what. She tells her students life does not stop after high school. She tells them to reach for the stars, do everything they can to get to the next level.

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