Señor Gil fundraises for his AP Spanish students’ exams


Helen Le and Lily Tran

For students who enjoy the challenge of AP classes, they may find that joy fading when AP exam prices appear at the end of the year.

Luckily, AP Spanish students don’t have to worry about how they will find the funds to pay for their tests. Spanish teacher Andres Gil has taken care of it.

“I really pursue this money because I know these kids can pass the test and I feel bad that they wouldn’t take the test because they couldn’t afford it, but that later on would save so much money in college,” Gil said. “So if I can help them out, it just feels great.”

Gil approached his cycling team two years ago when the fee waivers for AP exams dramatically decreased, asking his team for funds so that his own students would be able to take the exam, which has gone from $5 to $64.

The cycling team participates in an event called Giro D’Vino, where cyclists bike a 60-kilometer route and field support through things such as food. The event, now in its 20th year, takes place on the first Sunday of November and has grown to include Lodi’s wine industry.

“I haven’t been asking [for] help from my students [in the event]… because there is wine involved,” Gil said. “The people out there riding the bike, they buy wine and then we ship it to them.”

Last year the cycling team raised $1,000 for Gil’s AP Spanish class. Gil first finds the needed amount of funds from the school secretary, Nancy Figueroa, and then pays for the entire amount with the fundraised money.

With a 100 percent passing rate over the past two years, it is no wonder Gil does his best to guarantee his students take the test. Some students might not take it otherwise, even if money wasn’t an issue.

“It’s not really about whether I plan to, because Señor Gil pays for the AP test for all his students,” junior Kristy Gong said. “[I wouldn’t take it otherwise] because the test involves speaking, writing and multiple choice, and I’m not very strong at the speaking portion of the test.”

Students who are interested in taking AP Spanish are encouraged to do so, but Gil warns students that the class is not comparable to Spanish 1 through 3.

“Basically it’s like grammar is out the window,” Gil said. “It’s just about communication and just to be able to express your ideas and to think creatively.”