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"Truthfully, in the beginning, DECATS seemed like just another conquest for Jason.  Little did Glenn and I know that it would open so many doors for him.  Let alone open his eyes to a whole new world.  Jason would always tell us, "I love school.  It's the work that comes with it that I don't like."  DECATS to us was like school but really wasn't because there was no work that came with it!  We always looked forward to whether he qualified for the following summer program or not.  He always had such wonderful experiences to share and beautiful stories to tell that it made us want to come during the "show and tell."  Each year was something different, something exciting and Jason never got tired of it.  The 3 weeks always flew by and at the end of it, I always end up crying because of joy for the happiness my son experienced in this program, looking forward to the next summer.  Saying goodbye has always been so difficult for us because it just made our son shine in ways we never thought he could.  He learned to be even more responsible especially as a junior mentor which solidified his self-esteem even more to lead the scholar aides.  It made him learn to put himself in the shoes of others and appreciate what they are going through.  Because of this, he had learned to see through their eyes and remember that he was once where they are today.  The experience he has gained through DECATS is a huge part of who he is today.  For that, we are grateful."

Michelle Ancheta, Parent



It comes with great thanks, being able to say that I was given the privilege of being a part of DECATS for the last six summers.  I do not know if my words would do it justice, but I have to try and sum up how much it has helped me from the very first time I walked in at orientation.   DECATS for me was not just an extension of school during the summer or just another babysitting summer program.  Stepping through the doors every day carried a similar feeling to that of seeing family.  Starting in the summer following my third grade year, I began to see things in a very different way.  Because they encouraged 'outside of the box' methods of thinking, I was able to begin honing traits I had never thought I had possessed until that point.  They helped me learn to work with others more efficiently, lead by example and virtue, and begin to solve problems and think of things in more efficient ways than I previously had done.  It also fostered my faith development by continuing to reinforce God throughout the program curriculum and procedures.  Going through the first four years as a scholar allowed me to go throughout the courses and begin exploring things that I now love to do on a day-to-day basis. Then participating my fifth year as a scholar aide and in my sixth year as a junior mentor enabled me to see how it affects others too.  It was so cool because I could see other students beginning to have the same feelings that I had experienced when I had first walked through the DECATS doors!  


In middle school, it helped me primarily by helping me 'step up to the plate' when opportunities arose that had not previously been prescribed.  Now, throughout my freshman year in high school, it has helped me quite tremendously in ways that I never thought it would.  Doing things constantly like meeting new people, participate in team academic studies, and exploring global aspects of culture and people all throughout the world seem to trace their roots back to the summers I spent with DECATS, and have helped me draw from those experiences to expand on them in a more diverse atmosphere.  I would highly suggest to anyone thinking about participating in the DECATS program to do it!  Give it a try!  I know that I loved it a bunch, and am very certain that you would too.

Jason Eric Ancheta, DECATS Scholar



"DECATS has been such an enriching experience for me! It was what I had hoped it would be, as I was in awe of these wonderfully talented scholars and their gifts. Working with them and watching them learn, work together, grow, and take challenges was inspiring to see. Most of all, I hope they took with them a gift they discovered they have that they did not know they possessed prior to this great program. Other mentors and admin staff were awesome and inspiring as be around others as passionate about education as I am was fulfilling to be around each day! Thank you, Mr. Debusk, for chartering this wonderful experience for all!"

Beth Dodson, DECATS Mentor

"DECATS is unique program because it recognizes the giftedness of our Catholic Schools students.  DECATS scholars have the opportunity to grow in knowledge, grow in friendship with scholars much like themselves from all over the Archdioceses of Galveston-Houston, and they grow in their relationship with God through multiple opportunities to pray and different forms of service."

Adriana Gutierrez, DECATS Mentor


“DECATS means creativity, individuality, and expression of ones self. It also means educational fellowships. It is something I look forward to every year.”.

Dianna Thompson, DECATS Mentor



"DECATS is a place where academically talented students can meet with other gifted students during the summer and enhance their learning abilities. For me, the phrase reminds me of an eight-year-old who had not a care in the world. For the past five years, it has been a second home for me during the summer. Thank you DECATS for you’ve helped me learn about courses, myself, and my faith."

Jason Ancheta, Scholar Aide



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