MARION – Following examples from across the nation, GEAR UP and Marion Harding High School will rally behind students enrolled in higher education or the military on Thursday.
Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, known as GEAR UP, is a federally funded initiative meant to support early college preparation and awareness. The initiative aims to increase the number of students who seek education beyond their high school diploma.
As part of that initiative, Marion’s GEAR UP will host its first Prexie Signing Day and recognize students either accepted into higher education or the military.
“I think, as we talk about the culture here, this is an opportunity for us to honor and recognize those students who are making commitments to their future selves,” said Kelly Garrett, site director for the local GEAR UP program.
Prexie Signing Day follows other college signing days held throughout the nation and suggested by first lady Michelle Obama, who urges communities to support students who worked hard to achieve the milestone of going to college.
“We are here to celebrate you,” Obama said at a college signing day May 1 in Detroit. “We think that signing day shouldn’t just be for elite athletes, but for young people like you who have worked so hard to earn those college acceptance letters. This is your day.”
Leah Dickinson, state director for GEAR UP Ohio, and Marion City Schools Superintendent Gary Barber are scheduled to speak at Thursday’s event. Harding Principal Kirk Koennecke will give opening remarks.
Marion City Schools staff are being asked to wear college or military clothing on Thursday in support of Prexie Signing Day. Garrett asks the community to do the same and get behind the effort by taking a photo of themselves and posting it to Twitter using the hashtag #PrexieSigningDay.
Marion’s GEAR UP program is a collaboration between the I CAN Center of Excellence, Marion City Schools and Ohio State University. It is funded through GEAR UP Ohio, which will receive $3.5 million annually for seven years to reduce barriers to college access and completion.
Source: Marion Star