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GEAR UP Royal High School

GEAR UP | Royal High School


We spoke with Royal High School graduates about their experiences in high school and how they were able to navigate life in college.  The panelists volunteered to share their stories.


How Elizabeth was able to attend the pay to attend college at Washington State University...

The coaches who helped Michael become a Division I soccer player at the University of Washington...

How Noelia parents dealt with her moving far away from home to attend college...

How McKenzie turned a difficult situation into an opportunity to grow...




Elizabeth Guadarrama
Hometown: Royal City, WA
High School: Royal High School
College: Saint Martin's University

Year in College: Class of 2023
Major: Biology with a minor in Mathematics

Dream job: Become a researcher
Elizabeth’s Places: AHANA (African-American/Black, Hispanic/Latinx, Asian-Pacific Islander, Native American) Connections, Pre-Health Club, ASSMU (Associated Students of Saint Martin's University)
High School Places: TRiO Upward Bound participant - Big Bend Community College, Monthly Saturday PREP (Preparatory, Research, & Exploratory Program)-TRiO, Cross Country Varsity Athlete, Wrestling Varsity Athlete, Track Varsity Athlete, Tennis Athlete, Concert Band, Pep Band, Marching Band, Royal High School Band Camp, Chamber Choir, National Honor Society, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Family, Career & Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), Orgullo Club, Washington Drug Free Youth, Knowledge Bowl Team, R-Club, Stem Peer Mentoring Program, Alexander Hamilton Scholar, Astronomy Club, Class Treasurer, Class Public Relations, Student Interpreter (Spanish/English),
First-generation student: Yes
Reach out to Elizabeth: IG: ms.lizama



Michael Rojas
Hometown: Othello, WA
High School: Royal High School
College:  University of Washington

Year in College: Class of 2023
Major: American Ethnic Studies and minoring in Spanish

Dream Job: Planning to go pro for soccer, journalist, a coach, or an editor.
Michael’s Places: Gear Up, LEAP UW, UW soccer, Royal High School, Spokane Soccer Club, Othello Soccer Club, Tri-Cities Soccer Club, UW tours on campus.
High School Places: Leadership Class, Sports - Wrestling, Soccer, and Weights.
First-generation student?: Yes
Reach out to Michael on Instagram: 0michael_rojas7 



Noelia Guerrero
Hometown: Royal City, WA
High School: Royal High School
College: Started at Wenatchee Valley College (WVC) then transferred to Washington State University (WSU)
Year in College: Class of 2022
Major: Human Development
Dream job:  Be a director of a program, specifically working with College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP).
Noelia’s Places:  The CAMP (College Assistance Migrant Program) was my support system and continues to be my biggest support. In my second year at WVC, I was a mentor and guided first-year college students. I was co-chair of the club M.E.Ch.A as well as Community Assistant for the Residence Hall. I continued to work with WVC remotely as a Transfer Mentor. I will soon graduate and will be doing my internship with Communities in Schools of North Central.
High School Places: Football Cheer and Astronomy club
First-generation student: Yes
Reach out to Noelia on Facebook: Noelia Guerrero, Instagram: noelia.gee



McKenzie Garcia
Hometown: Royal City, WA
High School: Royal High School
College: Whitworth University
Year in College: Class of 2023
Major: Biophysics
Dream job: Biomedical physicist/researcher. I plan to continue my education as I pursue a master's in biomedical engineering
McKenzie’s Places: -All freshman dorm (Baldwin Jenkins), ASWU events, Professors ( going to office hours) - Washington State Opportunity Scholars, Women's soccer club
High School Places: Soccer, club soccer, dance team
First-generation student?: Yes
Reach out to McKenzie on Instagram: 55_garcia



New York Times bestselling author Harlan Cohen talks with current and recent students about life in college.  For more videos visit BeforeCollegeTV on YouTube.  For more information about Harlan Cohen visit him online at: or follow him on social media: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Tik Tok | LinkedIn | Snapchat (helpmeharlan).

DISCLAIMER: All views expressed by panelists and participants are their own and are in no way endorsed, officially affiliated, or representative of the institution, Harlan Cohen, or BeforeCollegeTV.  All views expressed on panelists social media are not endorsed or affiliated with Harlan Cohen and BeforeCollegeTV.  Students views, opinions, and advice are their own. ALWAYS contact official representatives to verify and validate any information provided