2017-10-28 / The Rock

GEAR UP program helps students focus on future

By Octavia Clayton and Hunter Williams
Rock Sta ff Writers


Judy Bradsher, left, and new GE AR UP Coordinator Cinzia Petty, help students prepare for their future, whether that involves continuing their education at a community college or university, or entering the military or the workforce. GE AR UP is a federally-funded program. The state received a grant to operate the program at districts throughout North Carolina for the next seven years. 
SUBMITTED Judy Bradsher, left, and new GE AR UP Coordinator Cinzia Petty, help students prepare for their future, whether that involves continuing their education at a community college or university, or entering the military or the workforce. GE AR UP is a federally-funded program. The state received a grant to operate the program at districts throughout North Carolina for the next seven years. SUBMITTED The process of getting ready for college begins as soon as students reach Person High School.

Through a program called GEAR UP, students gain access to advice and guidance on preparing for college and getting in.

A new GEAR UP coordinator was appointed on Monday. Cinzia Petty will be working on college access tours, FAFSA day, college application week and college application month. GEAR UP gives students and families knowledge about the whole college process, such as applications, financial aid support, scholarship support, and opportunities to visit college campus. During tours to college campuses students get the opportunity to talk to the college admission advisers and the college financial aid department.

¨It’s important to figure out what career path you want to follow because a student can come to you and want to go to UNC Chapel Hill and the major they want isn’t even there, and if that is what you really want to do we they can help you find schools that offer that major.¨ said Judy Bradsher the district’s GEAR UP liaison.

Through GEAR UP students receive hands-on experience about colleges. GEAR UP also offers services for students such as a mentoring program with GEAR UP ambassadors. GEAR UP ambassadors are upperclassmen working with underclassmen and telling them what they did to prepare for college. They use upperclassmen as ambassadors to engage students more.

GEAR UP isn’t all about college. GEAR UP also supports students who chose to enter the military or community college. GEAR UP supports students in their goals after high school whether it’s college, military, or going to work. Program leaders find resources to help all students reach their goals.

GEAR UP, college advising corp, and school counselors are available to help students with their post secondary opportunities. Bradsher works from the side of the central office. Kelly Woody is now the graduation coach.

GEAR UP stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education which provides block grants to states. North Carolina received a sevenyear grant for its GEAR UP program.

The focus for grades 9-11 is college preparation while the focus for seniors is actually getting them into college by admission application, senior resume building and recommendation letters and helping them pay for college through FAFSA.

¨The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form that can be prepared annually by current and prospective students (graduate and undergraduate) in the United States to determine their eligibility for student financial aid.

Submitting the form provides eligible students the opportunity to access grants, scholarships, work-study programs and student loans.¨ said Judy Bradsher, the GEAR UP liaison for the district. ¨The role of GEAR UP is to advise and support.¨

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