University 'Gear Up' Program Seeks Tutors, Mentors for 'Vision' Initiative

Would you like to make a difference? Can you help motivate middle school students to succeed?

Texas A&M International University's Office of Special Programs and its GEAR UP "Creating a Vision" Project is hoping to hire 24 students to help deliver a tutoring initiative in math and language arts at Lamar, Memorial and Clark Middle Schools.

Beatriz Salinas, project director, said tutors have a tremendous opportunity to make a difference in a young person's life.

"We are looking for talented college and university students who can help to share their knowledge in math and language arts and motivate middle school students to take challenging courses while in high school," Salinas said.

The GEAR UP Project is also seeking volunteer mentors who could participate in a mentoring project this year, Salinas said.

"We want to encourage community members to get involved in career development activities, and will be hosting a dinner to help recruit potential mentors on Aug. 30," Salinas said.

Persons interested in the tutoring or mentoring positions can call the project office at 376.2767 or 326.2700.

The project just completed a summer school component for 100 students who attended summer enrichment classes in pre-algebra, reading and language skills at the middle schools served.

'Creating A Vision,' is a five-year federally-funded collaborative project that is part of the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) under the U. S. Department of Education.

It is a national initiative is aimed at encouraging middle school students to prepare for post-secondary education now. The program is delivered in three main components: teacher training, parental involvement, and direct program services to students.

In addition to the participating campuses, collaborative partners in the project include: Laredo Independent School District, United Independent School District, Communities in Schools, Literacy Volunteers of America, ACT Southwest Region, and The College Board, Southwestern Regional Office.

The program is administered by Dr. Julio F. Madrigal, longtime A&M International faculty member and director of the University's Office of Special Programs. Site coordinators are Sonia Alvarado and Ivan Ramirez.

For additional information, contact Beatriz Salinas at 326.2766, email to,, or, or visit offices in Killam Library 332.

University office hours are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at