tumblr visit counter
Bears Beyond the Border

Bears Beyond the Border

The Bears Beyond the Border Scholarship Fund was established in 2013 to support college-bound graduates from Bowie High School.

Ladies and gentlemen… the Bowie class of 1997! Click on the pic to tag yourself and your friends. More classes coming soon.

Ladies and gentlemen… the Bowie class of 1997! Click on the pic to tag yourself and your friends. More classes coming soon.

Comments

Meet Claudia Martinez (Bowie ‘96, Claremont McKenna College ‘00, University of Illinois at Chicago ‘11)

image

Claudia Martinez wanted to be a writer since she was 6 years old. At Bowie she was editor of The Growler and as an undergrad at Claremont McKenna College she was editor of the Claremont Colleges Collage Newspaper. More recently, she published 2 young adult novels dealing with issues of growing up, loss, and border culture. Claudia’s first book, The Smell of Old Lady Perfume, was widely acclaimed and was recently name-checked in The New York Times. She was kind enough to answer a few questions for our Bears in High Places series.

BBB: What area in El Paso did you grow up in?

Claudia: I grew up on Magoffin and Myrtle Streets in South El Paso.  Kind of an unexpected question, but I guess Bowie kids come from all over these days, right?

BBB: Where did you go to college? What did you major in and why?

Claudia: I studied Literature as an undergrad at Claremont McKenna College and English as a grad at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  I have always loved reading and Literature/English departments are great places to talk about books, and to read things a person might never pick out for themselves.

BBB: What were your biggest concerns about college before you began your undergraduate career? How were these concerns resolved?

Claudia: I think, like many Bowie kids of that generation, I was a the first in my family to go to college.  I really didn’t know what to expect.  There was no one in my house to really share any first hand experiences or to help navigate the college application process.  Despite that, my family was 100 percent supportive in their own way, and I was lucky to get financial support from my college and develop strong friendships with other kids in similar situations. These included Bowie kids, and kids at the school I ended up at.

BBB: If you could do it all over again, would you approach your college career in a different manner?

Claudia: Vision is always 20/20 in hindsight.  I remember getting a big role in a play as a first semester freshman and all these distractions. Just living in a dorm was so alien.  And, of course, the academic end of it was a real struggle because the work-load is so different, and there is a lot less hand-holding.  Every distraction - and its always easy to find them - creates a new set of struggles.  I had one professor tell me that I needed to stop “resting on my laurels.”  But, I do feel I learned from my mistakes.  I learned a lot about priorities and time-management.

BBB: What kinds of jobs have you had post-college?

Claudia: I have worked in the public sector for over a decade, mainly with non-profit and educational organizations in operational and executive positions. But, my second book is due out in September, and this month I stepped away from all that to focus more on what I love - writing. I get to finally just be a full time writer.

BBB: What accomplishment (or accomplishments) are you most proud of?

Claudia: I knew that I wanted to write since I was 6 or 7. I was editor of the Bowie Growler and the Claremont Colleges Collage Newspaper.  I knew I wanted to write a book one day. I am really proud of having accomplished that.

BBB: What advice would you give to someone starting their undergraduate career?

Claudia: If you want something, stay focused and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.  Persistence is a great quality, and life is a great teacher.

BBB: Is there anything else that you would like to say about your life experience?

Claudia: I have a lot more to say, but people probably have things to do. I’m just grateful you guys thought of me.

Keep up with Claudia on Facebook, Twitter, or on her blog. Her books, The Smell of Old Lady Perfume and Pig Park, can be purchased on Amazon or directly from Cinco Puntos Press. Claudia currently lives and writes in Chicago.

image

image

Help support the next generation of Bowie students like Claudia by making a donation to the Bears Beyond the Border Scholarship Fund.

Comments

Happy father’s day to all the single moms out there. We don’t know how you do it, but we’re eternally grateful that you do.

Comments
The 2014 scholarship application is live!
Students, submit your application at app.bearsbeyondtheborder.org.
The deadline is May 1st.  We will be announcing the winner(s) via Twitter and Facebook in early May.  Follow us for updates and best of luck to all who apply!
Twitter: http://twitter.com/bearsbeyond
Facebook: www.facebook.com/bearsbeyondtheborder

Help support the next generation of Bowie students by making a donation to the Bears Beyond the Border Scholarship Fund.

The 2014 scholarship application is live!

Students, submit your application at app.bearsbeyondtheborder.org.

The deadline is May 1st.  We will be announcing the winner(s) via Twitter and Facebook in early May.  Follow us for updates and best of luck to all who apply!

Twitter: http://twitter.com/bearsbeyond

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bearsbeyondtheborder

Help support the next generation of Bowie students by making a donation to the Bears Beyond the Border Scholarship Fund.

Tagged: #application
Comments

Meet Alfredo Perez (Bowie ‘97, UTEP ‘02, ‘05, Texas A&M PhD Candidate)

image

Current City: Austin, TX
Occupation: Applications Engineer at Silicon Laboratories

Alfredo Perez is the definition of hustle.  Growing up in Juarez, learning English as a teenager, helping his mother raise his younger brothers, and being the big brother that could always be depended on - none of these tasks phased him. Alfredo is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Texas A&M University and works amongst the nation’s most brilliant engineers in the silicon hills of Austin, TX.

BBB: In what part of El Paso did you grow up? 

ALFREDO: I lived at several places in Segundo Barrio.  Across from Guillen Middle School in some run down apartments on Tornillo and 6th, in some small apartments on 3rd and Ochoa, and also in the Salazar Housing Complex next to what used to be known as the “Bear Bowl” stadium in my days.

BBB: Where did you go to college? What did you major in and why?

ALFREDO: After graduating from Bowie I went to UTEP to study electrical engineering (EE). I made the decision to pursue EE as a major during my senior year of high school. One day I was trying to “fix” a broken light switch at home without interrupting power to it and I accidentally caused a blackout. This incident led me to start thinking about electricity and, consequently, to find out that UTEP had a good electrical engineering program and that there was high demand for electrical engineers. Back then, EE students were getting multiple job offers with good salaries even before graduating, which I found pretty appealing.

After getting my bachelor degree in EE at UTEP, I decided to continue my studies and also got a master’s in the same field. From there, I continued my studies for a Ph.D. in electrical engineering at Texas A&M University. 

Read More

Comments

Meet Carlos Ramirez (Bowie ‘12, St Mary’s ‘16)

image

Carlos Ramirez (right) with fellow Bears Beyond the Border scholarship recipient Lily Rodriguez (left) and BBB co-founder Nadia Morales (center).

Carlos Ramirez is Bowie’s very own wunderkind. He graduated at the top of his class at age 16 and is now in his 2nd year at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, TX. At his current pace, he’ll graduate college before he can legally purchase a six pack of beer. Needless to say, we’re thrilled to support Segundo Barrio’s version of Doogie Howser (even if he does make those of us who graduated from Bowie at age 18 feel a little slow).

BBB: Are you the first in your family to attend college?

CARLOS: Yes, I am first in my family attending college. At first I was scared because I couldn’t talk to my parents about college because they would not understand what it implies. This scared me at first, but with time I got used to the sudden change.

BBB: Which college are you attending and what year are you in?

CARLOS:  I am a junior by credits at St. Mary’s University. I’m studying accounting and I might add finance as a double major later on.

Read More

Tagged: #scholars
Comments
Perseverance and persistence should not be underrated.
- David Frescas (Bowie class of ‘97)
Comments

Meet Lilian Rodriguez (Bowie ‘12, UT-Austin ‘16)

image

Lilian Rodriguez showing her Longhorn pride at a UT football game. Hook ‘Em, Lily!

One of the first BBB Scholars was Lily Rodriguez. At Bowie, Lily was a modern-day renaissance woman - not only was she an honor student at the top of her class, she was also a cheerleader, a member of the soccer team, a MEChistA, president of DECA, and (as if that’s not enough) she was also the 2012 homecoming princess. After graduating from Bowie, Lily took her talents to central Texas where she is currently a sophomore at the University of Texas at Austin.

BBB: Are you the first in your family to attend college?

LILY: I am the first in my family to attend a 4-year university. It makes me feel extremely grateful to be able to pursue my dreams at a prestigious school like UT-Austin.

BBB: What is your major and why did you choose this field of study?

LILY:  I am a Health Promotion major with a specialization on Medical Fitness and Rehabilitation. I chose my major because of my interest in working in the medical field and helping people practice a healthy lifestyle.

Read More

Tagged: #Scholars
Comments
Study hard now and you can have fun later, after you have your degree and you have your choice of jobs. I won’t promise you that it will be easy, but it is so rewarding in the end.
- Alicia Rojas Yarborough (Bowie class of ‘97)
Comments

Meet David Frescas (Bowie ‘97, Columbia ‘01, NYU ‘08)

image

David Frescas in what we hope isn’t a Breaking Bad-style laboratory.

For our second Bears in High Places profile, we go out to the city that never sleeps to catch up with our good friend David Frescas.  Dave has lived and worked in New York City since he left El Paso in 1997, thus leading us to believe that since he made it there, he can make it anywhere. Besides conducting basic research on chromosome ends, Dave also designed the Bears Beyond the Border logo and he tweets - you can follow him here.

BBB: Where did you go to college? What did you major in and why?

DAVID: After graduating from Bowie High School, I moved to New York to attend Columbia University. There, I double majored in Biology and Art History. As a student in El Paso, I was always fascinated by the interplay between the Arts and sciences, which was reflected in successes in math and science classrooms and through the dabbling of theatre production, participation in the marching band and journalistic writing. Combining these disciplines at Columbia allowed me to develop the descriptive writing skills that have helped me become a successful biomedical research scientist.

BBB: What were your biggest concerns about college before you began your undergrad career? How were these concerns resolved?

DAVID: Failure. I didn’t want to fail. I was privy to the countless stories of Bowie High students leaving for college only to dropout after a few months and then return to El Paso. I didn’t want that to happen to me. The solution was the endless mantra: Failure is not an option. Failure is not an option. This got me through the months, nay years, of catching up academically to my peers. This got me through missing my friends and family back home. This got me through the sleepless nights of studying followed by those painful early morning classes. Perseverance and persistence should not be underrated.

Read More

Comments