Our partners reflect on the impact CWU GEAR UP has had on their students.
GEAR UP has been a driving force in the work we do to create a safe and comfortable environment for every student at WestSide High School. Our school culture is everything for our students who are often disenfranchised. GEAR UP has supported our prioritization of a student-centered program focused on tight-knit relationships, trust, and support. We have seen how important the little things are when it comes to creating a family atmosphere. Thank you to GEAR UP for an amazing ten years of the little things and the big things!
GEAR UP Site Director Cortnea Austin led students on virtual college tours and assisted them with setting goals, writing resumes, and planning for college. All six of our seniors graduated! Two enrolled into Bates Technical College to study automotive repair. Through GEAR UP funds, we supplied them with their first set of textbooks, graphing calculators, and other school supplies!
GEAR UP helped elevate the art program at Tonasket High School. Suzette has been an incredible resource and advocate for our students. She researched and purchased equipment, including a light box so students can take professional photographs of their artwork for college portfolios and even to sell. My students wouldn't have been able to achieve at the level they did without the support of Suzette and GEAR UP.
GEARUP had a life-changing impact on my AVID students. It enabled me to combine educational college trips with new cultural experiences. Students loved going to "In the Heights" at the Seattle Rep. For many, it was their first experience of attending a theatrical show where they learned about etiquette and expectations. Most importantly, they had the experience of watching a show centered around a population that looked and sounded like them. It was very powerful. Thank you, GEAR UP!
GEAR UP and Zed Deenik have been invaluable to our school. GEAR UP paid for my master's degree in History, which has allowed me to teach more College in the High School classes. Chelan is one of only four high schools in the state that offers Chicano History 218. Students mention Zed as one of their most influential staff members. He inspires them to explore post-secondary options they had not thought possible. Everyone at Chelan High School has benefited from this amazing program.
About GEAR UP
The Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a discretionary grant that helps underrepresented students prepare for and succeed in college. CWU GEAR UP is 100% federally funded through the U.S. Department of Education in the amount of $18 million over seven years. We work with the same cohort of students from sixth and seventh grades through their high school graduation. The program currently has 3,334 active participants from the Classes of 2020 and 2021.