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Name: Anel Venegas
Hometown: Independence, Oregon
High School: Central High School
College/University: Willamette University
Year in school: Sophomore
Activities Involved in On Campus: Writing Bureau and the Willamette Academy
What/who was the biggest influence on your decision to go to college?
My biggest influence has been my parents. They show me how hard it has been to work for our needs in life without any type of academic education. It is because of them that I have dedicated my time in being a hard worker and achieving the best I can, which has taken me this far in my academic career.
What is one of the best things about college?
You are able to take the classes you WANT to take. Choosing the classes I want to take only motivates me to succeed further in academics. You are also able to create your own schedule which allows you to be a bit more flexible and adjust your time according to what best works for you and your learning styles.
What are your future career plans?
To open and run a tutoring center for first generation students as well as at-risk students and assist them in their journey to college.
What advice do you have for students currently in middle and high school GEAR UP programs?
Keep in mind your end goals and dreams. The more you focus on what you are working so hard to attain, the more successful you will become. I keep in mind what I want to do in the future and that has helped me stay on track and stay away from distractions that could sway me away from my future plans.
In 2012, Anel was selected for the Kemper Scholars Program, a prestigious opportunity that includes scholarships, paid internships, and leadership development through mentoring and annual conferences. Congratulations, Anel!