PROVO — When Bruno Lima came to the United States 12 years ago with his parents from Brazil, the only words of English he knew were “yes” and “no.”
Now a sophomore at Brigham Young University, studying to be an orthodontist, Lima has not only mastered English, but Spanish and Cambodian, having served an LDS mission to Cambodia. But while Lima has worked very hard to get to this point, he had the help of an innovative program called GEAR UP.
“I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for GEAR UP,” Lima said. Based at Utah Valley University, GEAR UP is a federally-funded program that helps disadvantaged students achieve the dream of a college education through mentoring and tutoring.
“In many cases, they will not only be the first generation to graduate from college, but they will be the first generation to graduate from high school,” said GEAR UP director Laurie Miller.