MSC LEAD subcommittee reaches out to middle schoolers
Published: Thursday, February 27, 2014
Updated: Thursday, February 27, 2014 23:02
Aggies Reaching Out, a MSC LEAD subcommittee, is preparing for another trip to McAllen this May to reach out to eighth grade students and inform them of their options for higher education.
Gretchen Gerken, executive director for ARO and MSC LEAD, said McAllen was chosen because a Texas A&M student in LEAD had a personal connection to McAllen.
“We go to the valley because this is where the program first started,” Gerken said. “About 12 years ago we had an MSC LEAD member who was from the valley and her mom worked in the school district down in McAllen. Through that relationship the program really took off.”
Jasper Pearson, junior human resource development major, said ARO goes to McAllen because members feel students are unaware of options they really have.
“This is an area where the income is not at a higher level, most of the kids here are told that once they graduate from high school they are going to go straight into the work force, that they don’t have an option.” Pearson said. “We want to give them the knowledge of this program.”
While in McAllen, Gerken said ARO counselors spend time with eighth grade students and tell them what options they have after graduation, information the students don’t often receive.
“We teach them about financial aid and the different ways they can get to college, whether that is a two-year or four-year trade school,” Gerken said.
Adam Lang, sophomore business major, will be traveling with ARO this May. For Lang, ARO allows him to give to others as well as gain new perspective himself.
“Being a member in the ARO program is a two way street,” Lange said. “We provide a sense of encouragement and motivation to students in McAllen while they help us reinforce our belief in higher education and remind us that everyone comes from different circumstances that in part forms them into the leaders they are.”
Pearson said the message they are trying to convey is that higher education is possible for anyone, regardless their circumstances.
“No matter where you are from, no matter the amount of money you have, no matter the diversity you have, higher education and college is an option and it is accessible,” Pearson said.