GEAR UP in the News

Appalachian State GEAR UP has been teaching students to design and code within Minecraft, a popular game. These students are focused and learning skills while preparing for their future through a fun game!

In Indiana, many students graduate high school and are not college-ready, particularly low-income students. GEAR UP is working to make a difference for these students by exposing them to college early and helping them build the skills to become ready for a postsecondary education and, ultimately, the workforce. Students above are participating in a GEAR UP STEM camp that is helping them begin to think about their future careers.

Nearly 200 high school sophomores in 10 West Virginia counties are experiencing life on a college campus this week.

The students are attending the West Virginia GEAR UP college prep academy at Concord University where they will learn how to select college courses, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), live in a residence hall and participate in activities that prepare students for post secondary education and training programs.

The event, which runs through Saturday, is sponsored by the state Higher Education Policy Commission. GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is a federally funded initiative.

In Milwaukee, the first GEAR UP class just graduated from eight local high schools! At one high school alone, students earned $1.9 million in scholarships. Across Milwaukee Public Schools, students earned over $62 million in scholarships. It was a record-breaking number in the district, and many students are excited to use that scholarship money this fall as they pursue a higher education.

In California, Assemblywoman Marie Waldron praised the GEAR UP program and all the work they do to help students succeed. In the article, she provided an overview of the program and outcomes of Palomar College’s GEAR UP program – a program that has made a difference for many students.

GEAR UP seniors at Ephrata High School in Washington, celebrated their graduation last week. With wise words from their GEAR UP advisor and inspiration from fellow classmates who have overcome struggles, these seniors are ready to take on the next stage of their lives.

In North Carolina, Appalachian State University has a seat at the table with a U.S. Senate-led Task Force on initiatives that affect the Appalachia region. The Task Force will focus on how to address key issues affecting Appalachia. Already, Director Erich Schlenker of Appalachian’s Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship has mentioned the positive impact that Appalachian’s GEAR UP program has had in influencing students and changing their mindset when it comes to education.

In East St. Louis School District 189, the GEAR UP program is getting ready to help students become part of the Running Start program. As part of this program, students can graduate high school with their associate’s degree. To prepare students to enroll, GEAR UP has helped students by offering tutoring and Saturday boot camps to prepare for the Accuplacer; GEAR UP also takes students on monthly college tours and will offer a Summer Family Retreat, taking families to Daytona Beach, Miami, Savannah, and Atlanta.

In Maine, the GEAR UP program is supporting the Junior Maine Guide program. The Junior Maine Guide program helps improve behavior of high risk youth by taking them outdoors. Students learn things like how to read maps and compasses, how to survive outdoors, including hiking and fishing.

In Philadelphia, Emily Goodman was recently honored as the Grand Prize Winner of the “Teacher as a Hero” award. She was one of ten local teachers to receive the honor. She partners with GEAR UP at her school to help with parent meetings, guest speakers, and enrichment programs to ensure students are career and college ready.

Over 100 Sault Area High School seniors have been awarded scholarships through the MI GEAR UP program and Lake Superior State University, something organizers hope will help pave the soon-to-be graduates’ way to a post-secondary education.

MI GEAR UP, an acronym for Michigan Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, is a joint venture involving funds from the U.S. Department of Education and the King-Chavez-Parks Initiative. LSSU also put up some funding and began administering its branch of the program when SAHS’ current seniors were in seventh grade. During each year since then, they have been taught lessons regarding their post-secondary education options and how to prepare for them.

In Oregon, GEAR UP links students from rural areas to private colleges. In this picture, LaPine High School career and college coordinator, Cindy Jarrett, listens to a lecture with students during a visit to Linfield College.

A few GEAR UP students in Utah were in for a treat when they participated in a live feed with astronauts on board the International Space Station. Via video and audio, students were inspired by the astronauts who are breaking barriers. They also heard special messages from Senator Orrin Hatch and astronaut Charlie Precourt.

Around 250 Louisiana students converged in the Shreveport Convention Center to talk and learn about their futures. 

The LA GEAR UP Conference, funded through the U.S. Department of Education and the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance, aims to prepare students elementary, middle and high school students for post-secondary education, including college.

In northeastern Oklahoma, Tahlequah Public Schools has implemented a number of programs to help students excel. Most recently, they partnered with eight other districts in the area to apply for a GEAR UP grant in order to help students succeed.