Symposium for New GEAR UP Leaders


Sunday, July 14 • 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM •
No Fee for Conference Registrants

Pre-Registration is Required

Whether you’re leading a new GEAR UP program or you’re new to an established program, the reality is that there is a steep learning curve to success. On paper, GEAR UP’s theory of action is simple; yet it is extremely challenging and demanding in practice. From designing and implementing complex programs, nurturing productive partnerships, and building the right operational infrastructure, leading a GEAR UP program requires a diverse skill set that few leaders arrive with on day one. As the old saying goes, experience is the best teacher.  

The symposium is designed to help new GEAR UP leaders navigate the learning curve in a setting supported by the wisdom, experience, and insights of more experienced GEAR UP leaders. Through a series of facilitated dialogues, GEAR UP leaders will have the opportunity to engage in open and frank discussions about the myriad of challenges in effectively leading a GEAR UP program. By design, the symposium will identify a subset of critical topics in advance but will allow ample opportunity for spontaneous discussions on issues that matter most to attendees. Our goal is to learn and document successful practices that can benefit the current and future members of the GEAR UP community.

Given the unique nature of the symposium, there are some specific requirements you should be aware of prior to registration, including:

  • Who Should Attend? The symposium is ideally suited for new GEAR UP Directors and their senior staff who have responsibility for leading their overall program. Given this focus, the symposium will be less satisfying and relevant for the very important implementation staff that have roles leading and supporting specific GEAR UP activities, such as school-based staff or GEAR UP partners. Of course, experienced GEAR UP leaders are welcome to join and contribute your expertise to the symposium. To the extent possible, we would like to keep attendance to no more than 100 individuals.

  • Will There be Additional Information Required? Absolutely. In advance of the symposium, we will ask each registered participant to complete a short survey. This survey will provide us with important insights that will help us shape the agenda, underlying content, and organize attendees based on common characteristics.