Gerardo Valencia is the newest member of the College Success Arizona’s Success Services team, where he serves as a Success Adviser, for students from our partner, GEAR UP Arizona.
Born in Tucson, Gerardo spent his early years in both the United States and Mexico. While earning his Bachelor of Science Degree, in Family Studies and Human Development, from the University of Arizona, he developed a great passion for helping others, and is looking forward to putting his expertise to work in his new role here, working with his scholars.
Gerardo has a distinct advantage. He worked closely with the GEAR UP program adviser at his high school, in Rio Rico. He truly believes in the importance of having support systems and networks, that can provide you with the guidance and opportunities to be successful in life. “I never envisioned myself going to college, and the financial part was definitely a barrier. I remember how my mentor in high school who was not even my assigned adviser, took an interest in me and decided to share her knowledge and give me direction, and for this I’m eternally grateful. Because of what she taught me, I was able to find ways to pursue my education debt free. If it wasn’t for her help, and her continuous support I’m not sure I would be where I am today.”
Because of this experience, in high school, Gerardo is paying it forward. “I strongly believe that everyone deserves an opportunity to achieve their educational goals. It’s one of life’s biggest investments and any barriers that exist need to be minimized by support, whether it’s financial, emotional, and academic.”
Before coming to Phoenix to join the College Success Arizona team, Gerardo worked in the behavioral healthcare system, and with non-profit organizations in the Tucson area, specializing in community service and mentoring.
Read more about Gerardo in his “Meet Our Team” interview