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Felix Robles

Felix Robles

Felix Robles

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Graduation is soon arriving and the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) made it a point to expose students to the benefits of attending a local university. Omar Guerrero, the recruiter for Andress, was determined to get students inspired for college.

“I thought it was never doable, and I know a lot of students think that,” Guerrero said. “But I’m here to tell them that it is doable and get them where they need to go.”

With the help of his co-workers and the testing coordinator, Margie Moore; Guerrero was able to organize an event, titled IGotPickd, to celebrate the admitted students of UTEP. Given only two weeks notice and a $400 dollar budget, Guerrero felt the pressure building up.

“I was stressed, just stressed,” Guerrero said. “But you don’t know, man, I feel so good right now. I got here at 8 o’clock this morning and just started decorating.”

Moore had been part of the planning and helped organize the clubs that would participate. She recalls the chaos of getting organized.

“It was very hectic because he wanted me to push it back to May,” Moore said. “All of the days he kept suggesting, we had something going on.”

After a long discussion, Moore and Guerrero were able to set a date for the event.

“So, at the end of the day, he decided to stick with the original plan,” Moore said. “He said, ‘It’s going to be tight, but I think I can do it,’ and he worked hard.”

Guerrero was appreciative of all the help he received to host the event.

“We had to buy all the decorations and it takes a lot of hard work, time, and dedication on both sides from Andress and UTEP,” Guerrero said.

Guerrero was also impressed by Moore’s determination.

“She would text me, call me, and email me on a daily basis to get these kids admitted,” Guerrero said. “It’s with people like her that get students where they need to go.”

At the start of the event, Guerrero made sure to stray away from a traditional setting, as he described.

“I got food, granolas, cupcakes, waters,” Guerrero said. “Like a little brunch style since it was at 10 a.m.”

Senior Eric Macik, a soon to be UTEP Miner, points out this feature of the event that appealed to him..

“The fact that it wasn’t really a presentation,” Eric said. “It was kind of like a party and a fun way to get out of class.”

Senior Michelle Velez, another future miner, found an interest of her own.

“To me, when the cheerleaders came out, was like my dream to see them there,” Michelle said.

Both seniors also enjoyed the enthusiasm that Guerrero expressed throughout the event.

“He’s great because he actually gets involved with us and does modern things,” Michelle said. “He doesn’t do weird games.”

“It was really unexpected, but it was really fun,” Eric said. “It was a cool way to say ‘welcome to our school’.”

UTEP staff also felt the excitement of the atmosphere, at the time. Michael Talamantes, the director for Admissions and Recruitment, had described his experience.

“Most of it is pretty fun,” Talamantes said. “You heard that we just did the Cha-Cha dance, right now, and we’re just trying to celebrate their decision on picking UTEP.”

Talamantes also explained the purpose of the event.

“We wanted to give them an opportunity to talk to the university recruiters and speak with other people on campus,” Talamantes said.

Talamantes explained how the recruiters pick the school they feel has had the best relationship with UTEP across the year. This is when Guerrero decided to host the event here, off of his experience with the students.

“Andress is the only school in EPISD that we felt had a great relationship with us throughout the year,” Talamantes said. “This is not happening across all 52 high schools. There was only six that were selected and Andress was one of them.”

Moore showed pride on why UTEP chose to come to the campus.

“We’re pretty cool people,” Moore said. “I love my kids at Andress and so does everybody else. Otherwise, he would not have picked Andress.”

As for Kevin Marshburn, the assistant director for Administration for the Department of Residence Life, he hopes students take advantage of what is here and not forget the reason of why UTEP visited.

“I think we have a tendency to not think of UTEP as a ‘University’ because we’re right here,” Marshburn said. “It’s like Chico’s Tacos. We just take it for granted, but then when people go away, they realize how valuable having their favorite meal is.”

Guerrero, like Marshburn, payed much attention to the way students responded and noticed their hesitation, in the beginning.

“I see they don’t want to get out and dance and stuff,” Guerrero said. “But, when they hit college, they get a little more mature.”

However, Guerrero was happy with the turnout, in the end.

“They don’t care if they make a foul of themselves because it’s all for fun,” Guerrero added. “You’re getting older and you find out these simple, fun times is what you got to remember.”

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