GAINING EARLY AWARENESS AND READINESS FOR UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMS (GEAR UP)

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CBSS GEAR UP Harvest of Hope III Success Story: Alicia Alvarado

Alicia AlvaradoAlicia Alvarado’s story is one of inspiration and success. She is currently in the 9th grade, and she has participated in GEAR UP for the last two years. Coming from a school in Ephrata, Alicia stressed how much she improved at CBSS and what a dramatic improvement GEAR UP has had on her life. “Ever since I came here, I’ve been doing a whole lot better. When I was in Ephrata, I had failing grades, but when I came here, I started getting A’s and B’s.” Now Alicia is considering her options for college, even out-of-state, so she can strategically take advantage of the benefits a post-secondary school has to enhance her plans for the future.

During her time with GEAR UP, Alicia has dramatically improved in planning for her future, managing her schedule, improving her grades, creating and maintaining professional relationships, and even participating in extra-curricular academic events. On Saturday, April 26th, Alicia won second place in an ad-hoc topical math competition at Central Washington University. Advisor of the team, Matthew Walker, said “We had a lot of meetings, and we were prepared for it. Alicia did great, and I’m proud of her.” Alicia pointed out that prior to her involvement in GEAR UP, she was failing math, and now she is elated that she is not only receiving an A the class, she is even winning awards for her new-found capabilities in math.

As Alicia is inspiring those around her, she is also being inspired as well. She was very moved that she has support from the staff in accomplishing her own endeavors (Fine Art and Cosmetology). They’ve helped her find a school that offers cosmetology nearby, and one of her instructors is trying to get her into an art class as well. Alicia was proud and grateful that there were people working to help her. Alicia also participated in the recent trip to Oregon through GEAR UP. The visit to the Art Institute of Portland was very inspiring to her and motivated her to pursue her education at the university level.

Alicia is a shining example among the GEAR UP students. She directly reflects the effects of what we all hope to accomplish in any educational setting. Now with a toolbox of knowledge, she can prepare for her future, and she is already off to a great start. When asked what has changed the most she said, “Before, I was too shy to ask, and now I can. This is my first year doing sports, and I’m so glad I did it because I would have never known that I like volleyball and basketball so much.” She needed help, and when she came here, she got it. Without the improved grades, she would have missed out on so many wonderful experiences. Thank you GEAR UP for inspiring Alicia, and thank you, Alicia, for inspiring us!

Category: CBSS GEAR UP
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