KRGV Employee Applies GEAR UP Leadership Skills at Job

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WESLACO - GEAR UP is going on its 16th year of helping students find a path towards college and move into established careers.

If you walk through the doors of KRGV-TV in Weslaco you will see Victoria Valdez in the front desk. She is one of the two receptionists that will greet you.

Valdez is a former GEAR UP student who graduated from Edinburg High School in 2011. She’s also a UTPA graduate and is now part of the CHANNEL 5 NEWS family.

“She is a wonderful employee. (We’re) very excited to have her here. She’s conscientious… She’s so bright. She wants to learn more things all the time. So I’m very blessed to have her here,” said KRGV-TV’s Human Resource Manager Tammy Meier.

Valdez is also a social web writer. She said GEAR UP gave her a great start.

“Upon graduation, GEAR UP gave me a scholarship. I was a student with them for so many years. And they awarded me a scholarship so that I could go to college,” she said. “It was an excellent opportunity. It took the financial burden off my parents to explore College Station and then come back to my roots at UTPA.”

Before Valdez college career was launched, she said she needed an extra push from her GEAR UP facilitator.

“My advisor, Miss Yvonne Johnson, helped me through thick and thin. When my assignments were too hard and I wanted to give up, she just kept pushing me, motivating me,” she said.

Valdez said she now has leadership skills she didn’t know she possessed.

“It really helped me with my leadership skills… I’m a lot more patient with people. A lot more open minded and it helped me take initiative in a lot of situations without being aggressive,” she said.

Valdez said she didn’t expect to apply those leadership skills at KRGV-TV. She said she loves working for a company that’s all about the community.

“I have never worked for a company that’s so open with the community. That does so much work with (them),” she said. “We just had the Valley Relief Fund and I can’t believe how much the community has come forward… I didn’t think they would fill up those two trucks, and it seemed like a daunting task. (But) we filled it up. We raised so much money.”

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