Education Program Bestows Positivity on More Than Just Students

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EDINBURG – GEAR UP not only makes a lasting impact on students’ lives. One facilitator says the program gave her a sense of purpose.

Sylvia Vargas said it’s more than just a job. 

“I have a purpose, that’s the best way I would put it. It makes me feel that I’m sowing a seed and I’m excited to see what comes out of it in four, five years,” said Vargas.

She’s a cheerleader for her students, helping them every step of the way. During her time as a facilitator for GEAR UP, Vargas prepped high schoolers for college.

“I think education is for everyone and I tell the students that it’s something that no one can ever take away – your education and it’s so empowering,” said Vargas.

This mentor says the GEAR UP program positively impacted her life. She enjoys being a second line of support.

“We text at one in the morning. Sometimes when they’re online and they’re checking their accounts and it’s just basic questions I think that every young person would have,” she said.

She wants college students entering their second semester to know they have a team on their side – from family, facilitators and on-campus resources.

“There’s so many people that think, I can’t do it, I can’t make it, but once you get the university, there’s so much help,” explained Vargas.

Vargas believes all students can succeed if they focus on the end result in mind.

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