GEAR UP Holds Mentoring Conference for Fathers, Sons

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EDINBURG — This week, a GEAR UP conference was held to build up relationships between fathers and sons.

The event called “Together in Education Success” or “TIES” was held at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Each of the dads, grandpas, uncles or close friends taught their young men how to tie a tie.

The keynote speaker at the event, sponsored by UTRGV and Region One GEAR UP, was Sabas Quiroz.

Quiroz is a former GEAR UP student. He graduated from Rio Grande City High in 2006 and is now an attorney at law.

The attorney said his troubled past and the GEAR UP program catapulted him to success.

“What really motivated me was I had actually gone through the criminal justice system when I was 15 years old, and that got me thinking out there, how many people are out there, especially young kids like that make a mistake and kind of have to pay for it, but the rest of their lives might be ruined by it,” Quiroz said. “That kind of motivated me to say ‘Hey, maybe I can help in that area.’”

GEAR UP Education Specialist Rosie Franco Lozano said Quiroz has some problems, but became a GEAR UP success story.

“He gave back and wants to give the message to our students, that not to give up and to keep reaching for their dreams and strive in every single way to be successful and to reach for your goals,” Franco Lozano said.

Quiroz said he didn’t give it a second thought when he was invited to speak at the TIES event. He said he wants GEAR UP students to know that dreams do come true.

The attorney thanks the GEAR UP program for helping him.

“I kind of really never gave a lot of consideration in to going to college, kind of just felt, well, maybe that's not for me,” he said. “What GEAR UP did is, kind of, opened my eyes to those possibilities, and, you know, they kind of pushed us to study for those exams like the SATs, ACTs. I think that is what propelled me to get into that mindset of saying, ‘You know what, I am going to go to college.’”

You can catch GEAR UP segments on Thursdays on CHANNEL 5 NEWS at 5.

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