GEAR UP at Southridge High School serves lots of great students, but Denver Rangel, a current 9th grader at Southridge High School and a GEAR UP Ambassador, has made some of the most notable improvements.
In 8th Grade, Denver felt his grades were bad and that bothered him, but he ignored it by choosing to think school wasn’t important. He explained that he goofed around and was lazy, especially slacking on his homework, and that was a big factor in his poor grades. Denver wasn’t motivated to change his ways. He just wanted to have fun with his friends. Denver’s teachers, GEAR UP Staff and his family became concerned that he wasn’t reaching his potential and was falling behind. They worked with Denver and he managed to pull his grades up and pass.
First semester of 9th grade, Denver took high school pretty seriously, but he got lazy and started slacking at the end of the semester just like in 8th grade. He was ashamed of his grades at the end of the semester. He decided to change his behavior by doing the following:
- No slacking
- Go to the After School Tutoring Program
- Ask Questions
- Get help when I need it from teachers and GEAR Staff
- Participate more in class
- Study at home, especially for test and quizzes
- Take more notes in class
He has really improved his grades, but he still has some work to do. Denver is particularly proud of improving his Biology grade from D+ to an A. He is working hard to stay focused, but has found it’s really hard to keep all of his grades up all the time. A couple grades slipped down a little bit.
Denver feels that improving his grades improved his self-confidence and he takes school more seriously when he does better. He thinks he is influencing his friends to do better too. His mother said she was proud of him. Denver is proud of himself too, but thinks he can do even better.
We have been inspired to see that Denver’s motivation is no longer from an outside source, but from himself and his desire to achieve his future goals. Denver wants to be an engineer and go to either WSU or UW. He knows he needs top grades to do that and he is doing the work to get them. Also he is eagerly taking advantage of every opportunity. He signed up to be a GEAR UP Ambassador and attends every meeting. He also attended our Career Success Workshop Series and won a Scholarship to Cougar Quest, and has signed up to attend WSU-TC’s Summer STEM Camp. We look forward to Denver’s continued success here at Southridge and beyond.