AlumNow: Early college high school experience helps alum outpace peers

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Roland Reising, a 2012 graduate of Trinidad “Trini” Garza Early College High School, is reaping the benefits of attending a high school that allowed him to gain college credit toward his associate degree while he, simultaneously, earned his high school diploma. By the time he graduated from high school, he had earned his associate degree, and by 2014, he’d completed his bachelor’s program. Today, at age 19, he is the youngest person in his graduate program at the University of North Texas–Dallas.

AlumNow, The Hub feature that profiles Dallas ISD alumni, caught up with Reising who works to help students navigate the path to college, and though he is only a few years their senior, his words of encouragement ring true for everyone—young and old.

What are you doing now?

I’m a higher education advisor with Education is Freedom. My job is to ensure that students have a smooth transition from high school to college. I also help assist students with college applications, entry exams, internships, and scholarship essays.

Briefly list a few of your career and/or personal highlights.

I completed my bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at the age of 19, and I am the youngest person in my graduate school program.

What was your favorite subject or activity/involvement in high school?

My favorite subject in high school was math and still is because I’ve always enjoyed working with numbers. I also tend to think that it allows me to challenge myself because whenever I am presented with a problem, whether it be with numbers or in real life, I believe the same skills it takes to solve math, are sort of the same skills needed to solve a real life problem.

Who was your favorite teacher?

I had many amazing teachers while at Garza, but if I had to choose one, it would be my calculus teacher Mr. Travis Smith. He’s a great teacher and even better individual. His small words of wisdom always seem to help clarify some things that I may have been struggling with and his passion for math allows everyone else to enjoy it as well.

What lesson did you learn in high school or beyond that has served you well through the years?

Tough times don’t last but tough people do. There were many times in high school where I was under pressure and felt like my world was going to crash, but even then, I would remember how hard my parents worked to provide for me. I would also remember the opportunity that I was given because going to an early college wasn’t something every student could handle.

What advice, if any, would you offer to high school students today?

Never forget about where you come from. We all have a purpose in life that we must figure out. Times will be hard, but there will be times where things will be easy. Just because someone says you are worth nothing or cannot do something because you are not good enough, prove them wrong. Stand up for yourself, and if something is not right, do something about it. Stop talking about it, and start walking because until someone does something, it’ll stay the same. Be the change.

College/University and degree earned:

The University of North Texas at Dallas, 2014, B.S., criminal justice

Currently completing a master’s program at the University of North Texas at Dallas

If you are a Dallas ISD alum and would like to be considered for an AlumNow spotlight, please complete the questionnaire and submit along with a recent high-resolution headshot. We look forward to catching up with you and sharing your accomplishments.

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