Student Moves from Mexico to Further Education

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WESLACO - Some Rio Grande Valley students who have participated in the GEAR UP program were born in Mexico and graduated from local high schools.

Yareli Iglecias is a former GEAR UP student who has come a long way since she graduated from Hanna High School in Brownsville. She graduated from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley with a B.S. in Biology.

“I’m currently working at Student Success Agency. I’m also thinking of attending medical school and becoming a pediatrician, but I still have not decided about that,” she said.

Iglecias said GEAR UP and her beloved dog, Fluffie, helped her get where she is at.

“I moved to Texas from Mexico when I was 14, and back then my English was non-existent. So I definitely had to work hard,” Iglecias said. “I was in ESL classes at school, but I would still read books with a dictionary, and I would watch movies in English with the English subtitles so I could hear how the pronunciation was. And by the time I actually graduated high school, my English was just as fluent as my Spanish.”

Iglecias also talked about her experience studying abroad in Spain. She said it made her embrace her heritage.

“I was kind of embarrassed about my Hispanic accent because it was very strong. But, you know, I kind of really like it now because it’s part of my heritage. It’s super chill tener dos nacionalidades,” she said.