GEAR UP Student Receives Full Ride to UT Austin

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BROWNSVILLE – A GEAR UP student is reaping the benefits of their journey from middle school through high school.

Brownsville student Manolo Alvarez said the program helped him get accepted into his dream university.

Alvarez will be attending the University of Texas at Austin.

“I like that it’s in Texas and I get to come back home and visit my family every now and then,” he said.

Alvarez said it was his dream to attend college at UT Austin for several reasons.

“I also like the big city. So, I like that I can go outside my dorm, there’s a Google and Facebook office. Just a lot of opportunities that I wouldn’t have at other colleges that I could have attended, and I know it’s one of the best schools, the best one in Texas in my opinion,” he said.

Alvarez told CHANNEL 5 NEWS why he wants to study computer science.  

“The great thing about computer science, it has a ton of branches. So, I can work for an investment company as a tech geek or I can program for a hospital in their system data base,” he said. “There’s just a lot of things that I can do with it, and I just think that I would be a great fit for that.”

One of Alvarez’s biggest fans is his counselor and GEAR UP facilitator Celina Barrera Scott.

“He’s one of those students that shares his story. He goes and tells them, ‘This is what’s going on next week. We are having a conference on financial literacy. It’s going to be in McAllen and it’s sponsored by GEAR UP. Take advantage because this is what I learned last year,’” she said.

Alvarez was a recipient of a full-ride scholarship to attend UT. 

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