GEAR UP Student Enjoys Father-Son ‘TIES’ Event

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EDINBURG — Last 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.

GEAR UP Education Specialist Rosie Franco said the event is to encourage the young men to have mentors and someone to look up to.

“It could be their fathers, others that can serve as mentors, that can help them throughout their career, their education in any aspect of their lives,” she said.

UTRGV PD Lt. Art Barrera was on hand to teach the young students a variety of issues facing law enforcement. He acquainted them with what local police agencies do on a regular basis.

“We are not here just to have them join our university PD,” Barrera said. “This is for all walks of life, of police departments, whether it’s DPS, McAllen PD or what have you. But this is to give the students a small understanding of what we do and what we have to offer for the students."

GEAR UP student Johnny Martinez said he truly enjoyed the event, since he knows law enforcement is in his future.

“It’s just very motivating, that I want to be in law enforcement and GEAR UP can show me this experience,” he said. “I really love it, and it’s just a big eye opener.”

Martinez said he was thrilled to attend the event with his dad. His father said he’s excited for his son’s future.

“He knows that whenever he has his own family, he is going to try to take his kids in the right path, like I’ve been trying to take my son,” Martinez’s father said.

Johnny Martinez said his father is an inspiration to him.

“He’s my biggest fan, and he's my biggest hero,” he said. “And I’m so glad that he can be here with me and supporting my all the way. He just gives me a big boost. I know that my family is there, and they just know that I am going to be very successful in life.”

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