This week commemorates the continuing success of Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP), a college access program providing students and families the support and resources they need for college success. Since its inception in 1999, nation-wide, GEAR UP has improved educational outcomes for millions of program participants. Many states across our nation have state or partnership programs. The parameters vary by grant however, the overall goal is to get students graduated and prepared academically and financially for college.
GEAR UP Wyoming is a state program that serves more than 2,000 Wyo., seventh grade through college freshman students each year. The University of Wyoming administers the grant and the seven Wyo., Community Colleges partner with UW to provide GEAR UP services to students and their families. Program services include tutoring, academic advising, college entrance test preparation, career exploration and assistance in applying for colleges and financial aid. In addition, students have opportunities to attend free summer programs and trips to visit college campuses; giving students a chance to “grasp” what a college campus is like.
“It is exciting for me to see students attending Central Wyoming College who were just kids when they started the GEAR UP program in seventh grade. Watching these students reach their dream of going to college is what GEAR UP is all about,” said Tami Shultz, CWC GEAR UP WY Project Director.
What Central Wyoming College participants have to say about GEAR UP:
High school students were asked, “What are some ways GEAR UP WY has helped you?”
“Mrs. L is the best and helps encourage students. She is good support and beneficial for college future planning.”
“GEAR UP has helped me know how many places I can go for more education than just high school.”
“GEAR UP has helped me a lot with keeping my goals on track. They offer a lot of great opportunities like fun summer camps and meeting. It also provided so many helpful tips on how to keep grades up and how to prepare for big test. Thank you so much for everything!”
“Something that really helped is that it takes the fear out of college and really hammers down the basics of college.”
College freshmen students were asked, “What are some ways GEAR UP WY has helped you?”
“GEAR UP has impacted my life by giving me necessary resources to attend college. Without the scholarship available through the program (and CWC) I wouldn’t have been able to afford college expenses. The CWC GEAR UP staff has gone above and beyond to show me the benefits of GEAR UP and college. Most importantly, I’ve gained some great friends and unforgettable memories.”
“I am the first member in my family to attend college, and I wouldn’t be here without the incredible helpful GEAR UP mentors and the program. Now I want to help others just as GEAR UP has for me. Next year, I plan to be a mentor for the freshmen in the Club and give back to the program.”