Marlon Ramirez is GEAR UP at Southridge's student success of the year! He made major improvements with his grades as a Sophomore during the 2015-2016 school year. He improved each class by almost 2 letter grades! I caught up Marlon at the end of this school year to find out what had changed from last year.

He decided that rather than focusing on improving his habits, he focused on changing his attitude to school and his habits followed. Marlon told me that “Before I didn’t care, I didn’t want to do [the work],” he said.  “Now doing homework is second nature. It’s a habit. I just do it. When I saw good grades that lifted my spirits. I check my grades often, before I didn’t check them at all.”

He also developed a support network of his dad, his school counselor and GEAR UP staff. He focuses more on school and said “It has been worth it! GEAR UP gave me tips, showed me what I should have been doing. My GEAR UP advisor also helped me see where I was headed and where I wanted to go. Southridge’s Sun Time (the after school tutoring program) helped me understand work I was confused by in class. I also got more help than I could in class.”

Marlon went to tell me that “I have no regrets for this semester. College seems attainable now, not impossible.” Marlon is thinking about going to Columbia Basin College and then transferring to a 4 year college after he gets his AA. He hopes to major in something related to computers or cars.

I asked if there were any other effects from his improved grades. He said his parent don’t harass him about grades anymore and he has been given responsibility at home and at work, because he has stepped up at school.