A Funny Thing Happens When You Are A Mentor…
When we think of mentors from our past, we think of professors, co-workers and relatives who have inspired us. So when a group of seniors from Miller and Alice High Schools spent the day with the AMS Austin team, it was pretty shocking that they viewed us as mentors—they appreciated the value of the “lessons” we shared throughout the day, and they also recognized the passion that we all have for our work at AMS. At the end of the day, the most amazing part of this experience was the realization that not only had we encouraged these students to pursue the college majors of their dreams, but they had inspired us, too!
Toward the end of the school year, the Texas Education Agency presented a video contest for all middle and high school students in GEAR UP/STAR – a pilot program managed by AMS Pictures in six GEAR UP high schools around the Corpus Christi area. The program aims to shift the stigma around education by increasing college awareness and readiness for traditionally underserved students in grades 7-12. For the video contest, student teams created an original video showing their interpretation of any one of the four categories covered on OwnYourOwnFuture.com:
- Why – Why go to college?
- Prep – How do you prepare for college?
- Find – How do you find a college?
- Pay – How can you pay for college?
GEAR UP’s website is for students in grades 7-12, speaking their language and offering them videos and follow-up materials that they can use to support their college-readiness activities.
As one of the prizes, the winning teams received a trip to Austin, including a tour of the AMS Pictures studio and time in an edit suite to add effects and polish up their videos. When they weren’t editing, the teams were busy scripting video intros, shooting in the live-shot booth and learning how to conduct their own media outreach in the Corpus Christi area with the goal of airing their videos on local television.
With our judges’ decision of a two-way tie, we invited seven students from Alice High School and Miller High School, along with some of their teachers, to spend the day at AMS Austin. After a very busy day of hands-on learning, these graduating seniors learned work really can be fun, to follow their college and career dreams, and to never stop learning.
So what did we learn from the day? Taking a step back at our jobs and looking at ourselves through these enthusiastic students, not only did we gain a renewed excitement for our work, but we also had a chance to take a walk down memory lane, realizing the career paths (some twisting and turning) that allowed each of us to come together at AMS. It was inspiring to see the passion and positivity in their work, their excitement to start college and most of all, hearing them talk about how GEAR UP has made their dreams become a reality and how they are helping to inspire younger students to think about their futures.
Please take some time to view their final videos:
Alice High School
- Kevin Valenzuela
- Estevan Barerra
- Omar Villarreal
- Romeo Gonzalez
“Why College?” Student-Produced Video
Miller High School
- CJ Bueno
- Joshua Villarreal
- Hector Deleon
“Captain FAFSA Begins” Student-Produced Video