(July 29, 2011)--San Antonio native Sarah Lucero, anchor of KENS TV's 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts, took some time away from the station this week to chat with young students participating in the San Antonio Prefreshman Engineering Program (PREP) at The University of Texas at San Antonio.
Founded in 1979, PREP encourages middle and high school students, especially minority and female students, to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The curriculum, which teaches abstract reasoning and problem solving skills, is delivered over four summers through lectures, seminars and hands-on activities that allow students to learn and apply advanced STEM concepts. Topics include, but are not limited to, mathematics, problem solving, engineering, physics and technical writing.
"Every summer, you have a choice about how to spend your time," Lucero told the students. "You have chosen to spend it to improve your mind, get ahead and have fun while you're at it."
Lucero first enrolled in PREP the summer before she began seventh grade. She had never set foot on a college campus, and nobody in her family had graduated from college. But, she was interested in science and medicine, so she gave it a try. She enjoyed the experience so much that she went on to complete a second summer in the academically intense program. Her oldest son, Satchel, is now a PREP I alumnus.
"You come here and you find out that there are really smart kids -- some smarter than you -- all across the city," Lucero told the PREP students. "The competition is tough. You have to raise the bar. So, when you're choosing your course load in your senior year of high school, choose the hardest classes. You have to go above and beyond what is required and what your neighbors are doing. The higher you go, the better your job will be and the smarter the people around you will be."
As a PREP student, Lucero did just that. By the time she reached high school and college, she was well prepared for much of the science and mathematics curriculum she encountered.
Following Lucero's presentation, students asked her a variety of questions about the development of stories, the use of video in newscasts, her daily schedule, her rise through the ranks of media and safety on the job.
Regardless of the career path they choose, Lucero gives all of the students the same advice: "Don't ever take the easy road. Take the road that will make you the smartest, brightest, most creative person you can be."
>> You can watch Sarah Lucero on KENS-5 weekdays or follow her on her KENS-5 blog Facebook (Sarah Lucero) or Twitter (@SarahLucero).
For Ashaad Mabry and Triston Wade, football is not just a passing fancy. Both players were part of the UTSA football program almost from the beginning. When UTSA opens the 2015 season Thursday at Arizona, it will be the first time the Roadrunners take the field without them. But Mabry and Wade will still be playing football; their uniforms will just be a different color.
Mabry, a defensive tackle from San Antonio's MacArthur High School, was an honorable mention All-Conference USA selection his final two seasons as a Roadrunner and second among the team's defensive linemen with 49 tackles last year. Wade, a defensive back from Tyler, was the most decorated player in school history. He was a semifinalist for the 2014 Jim Thorpe Award – for the nation's top defensive back – a three-time all-conference honoree and two-year team captain who set a school record of 293 tackles in his career. Both men had outstanding college careers that allowed them to make UTSA history.
Did you know? Mabry and Wade both agreed to terms as undrafted free agents with the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, respectively, becoming the first UTSA players to move to the professional ranks.
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