(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).
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For four consecutive years, UTSA has received an A-rating from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni for the caliber of its core curriculum. According to ACTA, UTSA requires its students to take six of the seven courses deemed "crucial" to a well-rounded education: composition, literature, U.S. government or history, economics, mathematics and science. Only a handful of other institutions in the U.S. are giving students these tools, which are needed to succeed in careers and the community.
Did you know? UTSA is one of only three Texas institutions and 23 in the United States to receive the highest rating for its core curriculum in the 2014-2015 edition of the ACTA's "What Will They Learn?" report.
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