2015 NCCEP/GEAR UP Youth Congress

Plan ahead for the 2015 Youth Congress at the 2015 NCCEP/GEAR UP Annual Conference, July 19-22, 2015, in San Franciso, California.  If you are interested in sending students to the 2015 Youth Congress please contact us to get on our e-mail update list. 

Thank you to the students, speakers, trainers, GEAR UP alumni leaders (GUALAs), and our sponsor for making the 2014 Youth Congress a very successful event at the 2014 NCCEP/GEAR UP Annual Conference, held July 20-23, 2014, in Washington, DC.  Click here to see photos from the 2014 Youth Congress; click here to see videos of the students as part of their sessions on project-based learning.  


NCCEP is grateful to Texas Instruments for their generous sponsorship of the 2014 Youth Congress. 


Led by a variety of experienced national trainers and supported by GEAR UP (GUALA) alumni, the Youth Congress features:

  • A blended curriculum focused on essential leadership and learning concepts and practices.
  • Experiential learning opportunities, including educational sight-seeing programs (bus tour).
  • Engaging formats, with high-interest presentations, discussions, and project-based learning in groups, spiced with creative use of technology and interaction.
  • Opportunities for students’ to develop communication skills, oral and listening.
  • A focus on developing critical thinking and ley leadership/learning soft skills for the 21st Century.
  • Encouragement for students to work in teams and be reflective, life-long learners.
  • Student-centered content and activities that are fun, meaningful, and memorable.
  • An emphasis on students developing key mindsets (future, global, innovation, ethical), visual and STEM literacies, and effective strategies for accelerating learning for college and career success.
  • Motivational speakers to inspire GEAR UP youth to succeed in life, work, and learning.

Youth Congress participants experience elements of the full conference, including having the opportunity to be part of some plenary sessions, while also engaging in over 20 hours of customized training workshops with their peers from throughout the country for the duration of the conference. The Youth Congress begins on Sunday eve­ning at the annual conference and concludes with lunch on Wednesday.


The NCCEP/GEAR UP Youth Congress is open to:


  • All grantees interested in registering and accompanying one or more GEAR UP students. (NCCEP suggests that the number of students per program remain under ten to allow the learning community to experience the geographic diversity that is a valuable component of the Youth Congress.)
  • Current GEAR UP students (approved by their GEAR UP Director) who are willing to fully commit to participating in all aspects of the Youth Congress.


GEAR UP Programs that wish to register students for the Youth Congress must also register them via NCCEP’s annual conference online registration process.  In order for your students to be fully registered for the Youth Congress, the GEAR UP Program Director (or designee) must coordinate the completion of the necessary permission forms for youth to participate. These forms can be submitted prior to or as part of registration.

Click here to read comments from 2014 Youth Congress participants.


The 2015 application forms will be available on this website (date to be announced) prior to March 1, 2015.  Registration will be open to the first 120 students, so make your plans today.


If you have any questions, contact John Donaldson at NCCEP.




GEAR UP Program Locator

Are GEAR UP services available in your state or region? You can find out by clicking on this interactive map. Here you will find where GEAR UP programs currently serve students, the size of their grants, how many students they serve and a link to their website for more information.