Former GEAR UP Student Uses Theatre Skills in Field

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WESLACO- Another former GEAR UP student is on the frontlines covering the news seven days a weeks, 24 hours a day for CHANNEL 5 NEWS.

Brandon Castellanos graduated from Edinburg High School in 2011 and from The University of Texas-Pan American in 2015 with a degree in theatre performance.

Castellanos said his degree in theatre taught him the ropes of performing in front of the camera and working behind it as well.

He said it’s a responsibility he takes seriously and GEAR UP taught him that from the beginning.

“Besides my parents, GEAR UP made me who I am today. As far as being kind to others, being on time and taking responsibility. That’s what it taught me,” said Castellanos.

Castellanos said he remembers the days before GEAR UP. He had a different outlook on life.

“In middle school, I was a different kid... I was a kid, I wanted to have fun. I did not care about school; I wanted to go out with my friends. But, it taught me there’s a time to have fun and there’s a time to get serious,” said Castellanos.

His co-workers said they love his photography skills.

“You can tell… I didn’t know his background before, but it comes out in his work. I mean, everything is great color, everything looks like a painting when it’s good video,” said Enrique Saenz, photojournalist for CHANNEL 5 NEWS.

“I didn’t even have to ask him for the things that I wanted in my package. He already had them. Plus, he added more to that. His eye is there, he sees all these details. He sees ways to make your package pop and I really love that. That’s such a great person to work with,” said CHANNEL 5 NEWS meteorologist and reporter, Samara Cokinos.

Castellanos said he feels privileged to work for CHANNEL 5 NEWS and fondly remembers a familiar face who visited his school back in the day.

“Funny enough, I was in Escandon and Tim Smith came by. Funny to think I would be working side-by-side with this guy years later, 10 plus years later,” said Castellanos.