A first-generation college student, Ariel Trevino’s story is one of hard work and service to others. One of the first students to attend a new charter school at Rusk Elementary–Project YES (later known as YES Prep Public Schools). Ariel thrived and grew under the Youth Engaged in Service (YES) model. Every week, students served the neighborhood–planting trees, creating books about recycling, and volunteered at the Covalescent Center in Second Ward and played games with senior citizens which included Monopoly, Chess and a local favorite Dominoes.

Through high school at YES Prep, Ariel was a part of the “Soccer Four”–four buddies who kept each other out of trouble, studying and learned together, and gave their hearts to soccer. He remembers doing Mr. D’s (Desrossiers) proofs together and how no one could beat them. Even when they played against eight players, they won. They were always better together. 20160503_062655_2

As his 12th grade government teacher, I remember the Soccer Four and Ariel’s steadfast focus on learning. His heart was apparent in everything he did. He was excited to be headed to University of Houston after graduation. He had “made it.”

At UofH he lived on campus, was in the Honors College, and played club soccer. He was on the dean’s list. Ariel was studying Mechanical Technology and doing well.

Things have never been easy in Ariel’s family. They are what they are; not easy and not impossible. After two years of mounting debts, learning that he wouldn’t be allowed to take classes in the fall until he paid tuition, and family problems, he let his dream go. He didn’t return for his junior year. Ariel took care of himself but the dream seemed to slip away. He worked in deliveries. He worked in restaurants. He continues to work in catering at the George R. Brown Convention Center. This first-generation college student didn’t believe he would ever be a college graduate.

11220459_10207287130110095_4283552021829783522_nAnd then he had a daughter, and Arlet loves learning at KIPP Explore where she is in kindergarten. She loves being a “BRIGHT Explorer” (top of her class) and “on The Team” (excellent conduct). She enjoys reading books and coloring with her Dad, but most of all she loves field trips to learn about animals and science.

Arlet is going to college. And her dad is going to make sure nothing can stop her by getting his degree first so that Arlet will be a second-generation college graduate.

Chris Barbic, YES Prep’s Founder says this about Ariel, “Ariel Trevino occupies a special and big place in my heart. I have known home since 5th grade and he started at YES Prep when it was Project YES at Rusk Elementary. He graduated in one of our first classes and his mom, a terrific, hard working woman, worked at YES Prep for several years. Love him and his family. He is a great kid working hard to finish school and a prime reason why organizations like edfurther are so important. Hope you’ll help Ariel reach his fullest potential.”

As Ariel works hard in catering to pay tuition and bills, I hope you will consider investing in his college dreams by clicking here.

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