La Villa Student Discovers GEAR UP Opportunities

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LA VILLA- Small towns in the Rio Grande Valley are filled with incredibly talented students. Thanks to GEAR UP many of those students don’t fall through the cracks.

Marina De La Fuente, a junior at La Villa High School, has fiery a personality with a gung ho attitude. She said it’s all thanks to the GEAR UP program.

De La Fuente said she remembers the first time she heard about GEAR UP.

“I was first introduced to GEAR UP in seventh grade,” she said. “And I didn't know what it was. All I remember was our principal in the front office jumping up and down, saying, ‘We got GEAR UP.’”

De La Fuente said she quickly learned what GEAR UP was all about.

“My GEAR UP facilitator… started telling us about all these things that GEAR UP offers, like countless opportunities, field trips, things that informed us about college awareness and getting to a post-secondary education,” De La Fuente said.

De La Fuente said she enjoyed all the perks that came with GEAR UP. But she said there was one opportunity that stood out to her.

“I remember when I was coming from middle school to the high school,” the student said. “We had just become an early college. They were offering me dual enrollment classes. GEAR UP and my facilitator were the reasons I started taking these classes.”

De La Fuente said getting taking dual enrollment classes has put her ahead of the game.