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Graduates Giving Back

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Posted: Jan 18, 2013 8:49 AM

Updated: Jan 18, 2013 8:50 AM

It wasn't too long ago when GEAR UP grad Jocelyn Atkinson was a GEAR UP student herself here at Port Isabel Middle School.

She's now attending college and is volunteering her time as a tutor slash mentor at her old stomping grounds. And she believes in giving back.

"I believe that giving back it's important because GEAR UP gave me so much and also taught me so much and everything that GEAR UP gave me showed me. I became so successful and I believe that if I give back to the community to the kids that are in the GEAR UP alumni right now they will become successful too so they will see that oh they are giving me stuff but is it going to be helpful for seeing the example of what GEAR UP actually created with me."

Jocelyn remembers what it was like to be a little 7th grader and not really knowing much about what college was all about. She says GEAR UP really opened her eyes and is hoping to help these kids realize their potential.

"One of our biggest roles is when we help our 8th graders. We help them in case they need help with either math. We need help with English. Can you please help us? That's our main role is helping the kids to have better grades and move on to the next grade level."

But Jocelyn says making good grades takes hard work and so they're helping these kids brush up on their reading skills.

"Another activity that I'm more involved in is the book club. I've noticed that the kids really don't like reading and I like to read so I talked to Ms. Delamar and I told her I need a way to help the kids learn. That it really is important but not just because they have to now but later on in life and in college they are going to have to be reading."

And Jocelyn says helping these kids with their reading, writing and math skills are important for their future college career but says life skills are also a must.

"Some of the activities we have with the kids are. We do lunch bunch where we teach the kids not just school skills but also life skills that they are going to be using later on when they either leave high school or when they are going to start college."

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