GEAR UP Helps Student Win National Awards, Full Scholarship

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BROWNSVILLE – A Brownsville senior going on a full-ride scholarship said it was all possible with the help of the GEAR UP program.  

GEAR UP student Jordan Rudd attends Veterans Memorial High in Brownsville.

She said she’s been carefully guided by her GEAR UP facilitator, Celena Barrera Scott, throughout all her years in school.

“I was chosen as one of five girls and 10 students across the nation to be a Wendy’s High School Heisman national finalist. I was able to go to New York; full-paid trip to New York for me and my parents and we got to attend the actual College Heisman Awards and then we had our own award,” she said.

Jordan said she received a $5,000 scholarship and $100 worth of Wendy’s gift cards.

The senior said she will also be playing basketball on a full-ride scholarship at Trinity University in San Antonio.

Scott said Jordan worked hard all year to attain these awards.

“She went to town with it. She started off immediately in August to do the application. She knew the deadlines. She was in constant contact with me,” she said. “There was also another student. So, there were two school winners, which were Jordan and Pedro Pinales.”

Jordan said she knows hard work and dedication will take you places.

“I mean hard work throughout the four years of high school, both academics and athletics – kind of came together in this one award, and it really shows that dedication does pay off. It was awesome,” she said.

Scott said Jordan also made history in the Rio Grande Valley.

“It was such a huge award; the first for our school district, the first for our school. I don’t know about the Valley but I know she’s probably the only one from this area that has won this award,” she said.

The soon-to-be high school graduate said the GEAR UP program is why she’s a success today.

“GEAR UP has been amazing throughout high school and they facilitated all the college process and helping with test preparation and stuff like that, and helping me find scholarships such as the Wendy’s one and I’m also a Spanish recognition experience so all that stuff without GEAR UP I don’t even… it would have been much harder,” she said. 

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