Former Student Shares Benefits of Dual-Enrollment Courses

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WESLACO - A young Rio Grande Valley woman credits GEAR UP for much of what she’s been able to accomplish.

Yareli Iglecias said the program helped her get through tough times after moving from Mexico to Texas when she was 14 years old.

Iglecias said she had concerns about paying for college after she graduated high school.

“I was definitely worried that I wasn’t going to be able to pay for one semester of college. So my plan was to go back to Mexico and got to college over there, because I knew that it would be way cheaper,” she said.

Iglecias said GEAR UP encouraged her to take dual-enrollment courses.

“So dual-enrollment or dual-credit classes are classes you take in high school but they also count towards college,” she explained. “They are definitely harder, but I was lucky enough to take them with my nerdy friends, and we did projects together and study groups.”

Iglecias said she also learned how to manage her time wisely.

“We took different classes, for example, physics, microeconomics and pre-cal… I actually ended up graduating with 60 credits. So when I went to college, I was actually a sophomore,” she said.

However, she still had to find out how to pay for college.

“I was very lucky because GEAR UP actually paid for my dual-credit classes,” Iglecias said.

The former GEAR UP student said the program helped her in both the SAT and ACT, community service and student involvement.

 “I was vice president for student council and also, thanks to dual classes which boosted my GPA sky high, I was able to get a full scholarship to UTRGV,” she said.

Iglecias shared some advice for those dreaming about their future.

“My dream was to go to college. And taking dual-credit classes was part of my plan to get here,” she said. “When you take your dreams, and you turn them into plans and you actually follow those plans, you will achieve success just like me.”