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KiBe GEAR UP Ambassadors Get Their Peers Involved During the Spring College Week

Kiona-Benton High School GEAR UP staff decided their ambassadors needed to have another opportunity to get involved and be leaders amongst their peers before the completion of the year. Thus, we decided the week of April 27 to May 1 would be our “Spring College Week” to keep students motivated to work toward their academic goals. The ambassadors were divided into teams of 2 or 3 students that included at least one upperclassman and one lowerclassman. Teams had the remainder of that week to come with an idea for a college-related, lunchtime activity and submit a completed form with a name for the activity, action steps, material needs, and individual responsibilities. The students produced interactive, college-themed activities.

On Monday, the ambassadors posted up printed out images of college mascots and two competitors would have to try to reach the described mascot first. The students were racing around the commons creating quite the buzz amongst the rest of the student body. The principal, Clay Henry, even got in on the action.

Tuesday was a little more low-key with college trivia, but staff still showed their support by getting involved. Civics and U.S. History teacher, Andrea Dobson put her knowledge to the test and showed the students that even adults can have fun with a little college trivia.

Wednesday, the ambassadors set up the floor with a fun “College Twister” activity. Students were both excited and nervous about playing twister in front of their peers, but Ms. P, the GEAR UP Site Manager, got involved and showed the students of KiBe it is okay to have fun despite concerns about being judged for participating. Instead of calling out colors, students were directed by a college’s color; for example, “Left hand, Cougar Crimson.”

Thursday, students got really silly with “Pin the Nose/Tail/Teeth/Bow on the Mascot.” Large pictures of the Oregon State University Beaver, University of Oregon Duck, Washington State University Cougar, and University of Washington Husky were placed on a wall. Participants were given a selected missing part of the drawing with their name on it, blindfolded, spun around 5 times, and sent on a mission to correctly place the missing piece in the correct place. To set the example, Ms. P and Mr. Henry went first. Soon, more and more student competitors joined the battle. A few were so into the activity they tried to sneakily direct their friends in how to reach the target. Although technically cheating, GEAR UP commended them on their ability to work as a team.

Friday, ambassadors concluded the week’s activities with a “Where’s the College Mascot” activity. Two competitors had to focus their eyes, despite a psychedelic background, to find the called out logo. The college week reminded KiBe students of GEAR UP’s presence on campus, gave the ambassadors an opportunity to fully orchestrate an activity, and brought students and staff together.

Walla Walla High School student finds success through AVID elective class

In Mike Gobel's 9th grade AVID class this year, there are many exceptional students. Out of all these hard-working and intriguing young people, one student has shown the most improvement in her work ethic and academic confidence, two key goals of the AVID program. This student is Estefani Rodriguez.

Estefani uses many of the GEAR UP services to help her in her quest to be college and career ready. Estefani spends some time in the library getting help from tutors during Academic Lab. She works with GEAR UP Student Achievement Specialist to help keep her on track with her grades and college goals. 

This is Estefani's first year in AVID, and she entered Mr. Gobel's class unsure how she would be perceived as a student. With the tutors, Estefani is somewhat quiet, but when I asked her about her experience she gave me a very candid response. She told me that she had initially expected to be judged for not having great grades in middle school; but that had not been the case. Her AVID class made her feel like she deserved to be there.

Estefani has truly made the most of this commitment. She started out the year struggling in Math, and says she used the tutorial process to pull her out of the rut. Her hard work has shown results, too--according to Mr. Gobel she is one of the students whose GPA has improved the most over the year.

Yet even as she gathers success in some areas, Estefani remains aware that the road to high school graduation, and beyond, takes four years. She assured me that while her understanding of Math has increased, she is now focusing her efforts on History. In Estefani, I see a quiet determination that is only the beginning of a great AVID success story. I am so glad to have been a witness.

Estefani has been a GEAR UP student since her time in 6th grade at Garrison Middle School. 

Student Success Article by Molly Emmett. Molly is currently an AVID intern at Walla Walla High School, She will complete her undergraduate degree from Whitman College this May.

Finley GEAR UP Goes to WSU Pullman

On Friday, April 24, 2015, River View High School GEAR UP freshman and sophomores were taken up to explore the WSU Pullman campus. This day was filled with lots of fun and excitement starting from the departure of the high school. As students boarded the bus they all were ready to interact with their peers and enjoy a day in Pullman.

As soon as everyone arrived to the WSU Pullman campus, students were anxious to get off the bus and look around. Everyone got off the bus and took a nice group photo in front of the Lighty Building. The group looked really great with all their matching GEAR UP t-shirts. Soon after the photo, everyone was given a quick introduction and welcoming to the campus.

After receiving a warm welcome, the students and chaperones split into two big groups and went off to tour the beautiful campus with a WSU student tour guide. The tour was great because the students were able to see all of the historic buildings and learn lots about the campus. Students were even allowed to visit the Charles R. Conner Museum, where there were lots of animal exhibits. Students were very impressed with all the animals that they got to see, especially the Bighorn Sheep.

Right after the Museum, everyone gathered and walked over to Southside dining hall and had lunch with some former River View alumni. Students were thrilled to sit down and eat and also talk about college life. Before the trip, students choose between Nursing, Engineering and Sports related majors. Based on these fields of study, Mrs. Rubio grouped students with matching alumni that are currently studying the majors listed above. From this set up, students had the opportunity to ask many questions that were beneficial to becoming informed about their interested major.

From lunch, the entire group was given a presentation regarding admission at WSU Pullman. Students got to ask questions regarding cost of attendance and different major options. Samantha Hege, WSU Pullman Admission Representative, talked about how students can tour the campus before committing to attend and also why Pullman is such a great place. She also discussed financial aid options and how students should start to save money now so they can go to college.

Thank you to WSU Pullman for letting Finley GEAR UP visit and also to River View High School Principal, Bryan Long for helping GEAR UP set up this college visit. This trip was very informative for Finley’s GEAR UP students because they were able to visit the campus and explore the different options this campus has to offer. Students continuously expressed how much fun they had and were pleased that GEAR UP took them on this trip.

Pasco High GEAR UP Student Ambassador Awarded Gates Millennium Scholarship

Daphne Gallegos has been a GEAR UP student since 7th grade, back in 2008. She has also been a GEAR UP ambassador for Pasco High School since 2013. Gallegos one of 52,000 students that applied for the scholarship was currently awarded a Gate Millennium full ride Scholarship. In 2009 Gallegos mother became very ill. With no proper diagnose from Doctors, Gallegos and her father began researching her mothers symptoms. After two long years, Gallegos came to the conclusion her mother suffered with a rare condition called relapsing polychondritis. This is an episodic and incurable autoimmune disease. She continues to work closely with her mother’s doctors. This has influenced her decision to major in Molecular and Cellular Biology with emphasis in Bioethics and a minor in French. Gallegos is one of three Pasco School Board student representatives and also one of five valedictorians in her senior class. After narrowing her top three choices of Willamette University, Whitman College, and University of Puget Sound, she has decided to attend Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA. Pasco High GEAR UP is proud to have such an amazing and bright young student in our OVP II cohort!

Blooming through April at Prosser High

Kassidy Bush showing her bunny to two kinder students from Keene-RiverviewWhile the flowers are blooming and spring is here, students are coming back from spring break and back in gear to get grades up.

Before Spring Break there were parent/ teacher/ student conferences. There were a total of about 390 of our cohort kids that came with parents to talk to their teachers and how they are doing so far in school. Both freshman and sophomore student saw what grades they have so far, if they are on track to graduate, if their community service hours are being met and what classes they will be taking next year. Teachers did let students know of the opportunities the school has to get caught up on credits. A few students are taking APEX at the moment to retrieve lost credit.

Once students came back from spring break the FFA club, and AFNR classes had their annual Griz’s Farm. Students that are in the FFA club or any AFNR classes were given the opportunity to bring in a farm animal and display it for the other students and other community members. This event took place at the high school outside of the Agriculture department. Students that have AFNR classes were there to help other students and community members around the farm. Elementary schools from Prosser brought their students over to enjoy seeing the animals. It was nice seeing our high school kids be tour guides to our future mustangs around the farm.

A few students were also inducted into the national honors society. There were 36 sophomore students with a 3.5 or above G.P.A and 39 freshmen. In total we had 12 freshmen students with a 4.0 and 13 sophomores. Congratulations to our freshman students who are Leah Blakney, Eliza Buttars, Jennifer Cantu, Curtis Clute, Natalie Gray, Cyndal Johnson, Natalie Norell, Seth Peters, Keely Teel, Davina Trujillo, Tania Villalba, and Cristyan Zepeda who were inducted into the honors society. Our sophomores are Destinee Berg, Lacey Desserault, Esequiel Godinez, Katrina Hansen, Kaylee James, Emily Lansing, Joshua Lancing, Gerald Lemmon, Luis Lopez, Alyssa Meza, Christian Rivera, Monica Serley, and Mackensie Smithyman were inducted into the honors society this year and all of these students were able to maintain a 4.0. Good job and keep up the hard work.

After spring break PHS administration had a meeting with about 30 cohort students to talk about credit retrieval for Algebra. These students have the opportunity to get their lost credit for 1st semester in algebra. All these students need to do is show up during lunch Mondays and Wednesdays until the end of the year to get that credit back. Once their credit is earned he/she will be free to enjoy their lunch time with friends. Students have been showing up and are taking advantage of this opportunity that is being given to them. A contract signing took place as well.

Throughout this week there was a vehicle on campus to talk of the importance of our students to be responsible and to make wise and choices about drinking and driving. A guest speaker came in Wednesday to talk to students about drinking and driving. At the beginning the speaker engaged kids with jokes and life situations that had occurred in his life, towards the end he gave a positive message to the students to not drink and drive. He talked about his experience and hoped to reach out to the students. It’s not worth losing your life or putting others at risk while being under the influence. In ten seconds anything can happen. Live life to the fullest but be smart about the decisions you make. This month has indeed been a busy month for our students, now with basically one more month left, time is ticking and it’s now or never to start kicking gear to get grades up and ask questions on credits and anything that will help them succeed. On the 23rd of April there was a Drug and Alcohol parent awareness night.

Upcoming events May 1-2 FFA plant sale, May 4th Cinco de Mayo Assembly, AP testing 4-13,Migrant PAC meeting May 8, and AVID family night May 20.

MLHS Is GEARing UP For The Future!

GEAR UP AmbassadorsOn Saturday, January 10, Moses Lake High School GEAR UP held a GEAR UP For Tomorrows Education Conference for high school students from Moses Lake. The event was held at Big Bend Community College. At eight in the morning, the doors were opened to the public. The conference started with the high school students and their parents looking around the college fair which consisted of Washington State University, University of Washington, The Art Institute of Seattle, Big Bend Community College, University of Idaho and many more. Parents and students had the opportunity to ask the representatives any questions they had.

GEAR UP Staff, Students, and ParentsAt around 9:45 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. they introduced the conference and the schedules explaining the workshops that were to be held. After introductions were given, they introduced a guest speaker who was very inspirational and funny, Coach Darrell. He gave us his life story of how he was brought up by a single mother. His mother was very strict; he had a curfew because his mother didn't want him to be involved in any gang related things. He also explained his college experience, which was a story of its own. Imagine young Darrell Andrews with enough money to get him to Pennsylvania. He stood in front of registration for Cheyney University of Pennsylvania. Even though he never applied, they took him in and now he has a successful life.

After the guest speaker, it was time for the parents and students to benefit from the workshops. The workshops consisting of “Filling out FAFSA”, “Paying for College”, “What’s Your Future Career”, “Support for Minority Students in College”, etc. The sessions were approximately an hour long. One of the biggest benefits from this event was for the high school seniors. They had the chance to get help from Scholarship Junkies and have their essays looked over. Scholarship Junkies are an organization that helps high school students, as well as college students with any type of essays. To end the day they had a raffle, both students and parents participated. Over 200 students and parents attended the conference and got a jump on planning for their future!

Dayton GEAR UP - College a Necessity

As the school year is winding into summer, our GEAR UP students are ready for a break. Before releasing them into summer fun, our College Readiness class is taking online surveys through to find a college fit for each of their individual needs and desires. They were overwhelmed that there are so many choices to make in selecting a college. Taking this survey ignited thoughts of which careers made better yearly incomes. The students were searching the internet looking at salaries of various careers. They wanted to know how much salary was needed for a specific car and a beautiful home. These students were serious and realize what it takes to get the things they want. Students are learning how to use the tools GEAR UP has taught them. This class knows that effort and education equals success. “The younger you start to challenge yourself, the more successful you will be” (Quoted from Arel Moodie, Motivational Speaker). The class is in the process of taking the practice SAT test online. Taking the SAT Practice Test is a stress-free (and free) way to find your strengths and weaknesses on the SAT.

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