Texas A&M Student Helps Prepare Next Generation Of College Students

By: Shane McAuliffe Email
By: Shane McAuliffe Email

It's a program that's helping Bryan Independent School District Students get ready for the next step.

It's called the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program or GEAR UP.

One A&M student knows first hand the success of the program and is passing on her knowledge.

Once a week, Texas A&M University sophomore Viviana Hernandez talks to Samantha Roman, a sophomore at Rudder High School.

The topic can vary week by week but it all has to do with preparation for college with the Bryan ISD GEAR UP program.

"I think that's the main reason I'm in college today. I come from a family that didn't go to college so I absolutely knew nothing," said Hernandez.

Viviana participated in the GEAR UP program in Houston and learned a lot about college life starting in middle school.

"I knew nothing about loans, I knew nothing about financial aid, I knew nothing about anything," said Hernandez.

But thanks to the program preparing her for college entrance, Viviana got accepted into Texas A&M University, The University of Texas, and Texas Tech University.

"It takes you to colleges, it gives you an opportunity to look at what each college has to offer. Look at different environments and to see what is best for you," said Hernandez.

"I am kind of scared because I don't know what to expect," said Roman.

Samantha also wants to attend A&M and has Viviana to guide the way.

"It would mean a lot to me because I'd be the first one in my family to go to college and I'll be even closer to doing what I want to do with my life," said Roman.

"That help that was given to me, now I can provide that help for someone else that needs it. I feel that I want to help others because I knew how lost I was and I don't want somebody else to think they can't go to college because they don't know how to," said Hernandez.

And that's the goal of GEAR UP.

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