Clarkston 2014 Family College Planning Forum

Clarkston College NightOn October 29th, the Clarkston WSU GEAR UP program hosted its 5th annual Family College Planning Forum at Clarkston High School. The evening was a fantastic opportunity for students and their families to receive firsthand information from college recruiters and admission counselors.

Clarkston WSU GEAR UP kicked off the event with a complimentary pizza dinner in the school’s cafeteria, which coincided with the opening of the college fair. In the library, an AVID parent meeting was held to keep parents up-to-date with their students’ progress as well as upcoming AVID activities. It was also an opportunity for freshman and sophomore AVID students to get a glimpse into what AVID has in store for them for the next few years.

At 6:00 PM, all attendees gathered in the school’s auditorium for a motivating welcome by keynote speaker, Houston Kraft. Houston delivered a presentation as well as a leadership workshop at Clarkston High School earlier in the day. At the forum, he inspired students and their families to embrace the transition to post-secondary education and the new chapter of an individual’s life.

Eleven separate informational breakout sessions followed the keynote speaker. A variety of topics were covered including financial aid, college 101, admissions, athletic scholarships, a student panel, and more. Attendees chose whether to attend a workshop or visit with recruiters at the college fair.

Several lucky students won prizes from Lewis Clark Credit Union, who served as a co-sponsor to this year’s event. One student won a Samsung tablet and others won t-shirts. Lewis Clark Credit Union also provided financial literacy information to families and sponsored the closing reception refreshments.

Over 225 students and parents attended the event, which was the largest turnout on record. Clarkston High School Administration and local GEAR UP staff have been overwhelmed with positive feedback.

Another Great Teen Conference Experience for Clarkston!

TC Group PhotoTwenty incoming sophomores from Clarkston High School attended to 2014 4-H Teen Conference at Washington State University June 22-24. The students were accompanied by tutors Cherie Wormell and Tristan Anderson. It was a fun filled 2 ½ days complete with lots of walking, activities, workshops and talented guest speakers. According the one student in particular, Nick Hoffman, “I liked everything, the workshops, activities/games and especially bonding with random strangers that were my age (even though that has never been my favorite thing to do!).” This conference has always been a favorite for students from Clarkston to attend, WSU is a favorite around here and 4-H is a big part of the culture in the Valley (even though being a 4-H member is not a requirement). Thank you to the Washington State University and the Washington 4-H leaders for making this year and every year such a success! Our students are already looking forward to next year!

Clarkston AVID Gives Back!

The 2017 AVID at Clarkston High School has gotten to take many field trips helping to prepare and motivate them for post-secondary education but on June 2nd they took a different type of a trip sponsored by WSU GEAR UP, this one was good for the soul. At 8:00am the 25 AVID students and 3 student supervisors including Lead Tutor, Jane Ann Brewer, and GEAR UP/AVID tutors Cherie Wormell and Cheryl Hoffman, loaded the bus for the Ronald McDonald House in Spokane, WA. The AVID class did a few service projects throughout the year and decided that they wanted to do something extra special for their last one. The Ronald McDonald House is essentially a "hotel" for families who have children receiving care from Sacred Heart Children's Hospital. Some of these kids are in and out for treatments staying at the house with their families while others stay in the hospital and the families at the house. The staff at the Ronald McDonald House was more than willing to have 28 volunteers come for a few hours!

Upon arrival the kids learned the basics of the house and then split up into three groups; one spread out through the house with Lysol wipes to clean everything in sight, the second headed outside to pull weeds and clean up any messes or garbage, and the third congregated in the dining room to start decorating 100 cupcakes that were donated by one of the girl's mom. After 30 minutes the groups rotated so that everyone got a chance to help in each of the three areas. After everything was cleaned and the cupcakes were decorated everyone gathered in the "living room" to hear from one of the house's managers. She explained how this small act of kindness by the 2017 AVID class was vital to the success of the house and how different projects can stem from their visit. Projects like this are so beneficial to students, even though it didn't relate to academics it helps them to become well-rounded individuals who understand that giving back is vital as well as benefiting them as a resume builder. Great job to the Clarkston 2017 AVID class!

$4.7 Million in Scholarships for Clarkston's Class of 2014!

It is always impressive to hear the total scholarship amount a class receives when graduation time comes round, but this year at Clarkston High School, it is more than impressive – it’s outstanding! Almost half the class reported receiving scholarships from various colleges and institutions in the amount of 4.7 million! This more than quadruples the amount received by the graduating class of Clarkston 10 years ago at 1.1 million. This is also just the amount that was reported, I’m sure there were many more seniors that simply didn’t take the time to fill out the scholarship form. This amount includes many academic awards from different colleges and universities, local committees and memorial scholarships, the Washington College Bound Scholarship as well as eight athletic scholarships to schools in Washington, Idaho and Oregon. While most students received between one and three scholarships, some of the valedictorians received as many as 14 scholarships each! Obviously some of these scholarships will not be used since they may have received offers from multiple colleges and universities and will only be attending one. These scholarships were celebrated at a WSU GEAR UP sponsored awards night were students were recognized individually for each of the scholarships they received. Great job raking in the dough Clarkston’s class of 2014, you are on your way to a successful future!

Clarkston AVID visits Gonzaga University

For one final trip of the year, the Clarkston High School freshman AVID class toured the Gonzaga University campus along with AVID/WSU GEAR UP tutors and AVID Elective teachers. Upon arrival the group broke into two groups and was escorted by knowledgeable student tour guides. The guides shared a wealth of information along the tour, such as important information concerning available degree programs, campus buildings, and how to become involved in campus life. After the tour, the entire group met in a classroom with an admissions counselor. The counselor provided vital admissions information and shared Gonzaga’s selection criteria. In addition, she gave AVID students advice concerning the importance of a rigorous schedule in high school, GPA, extra-curricular activities, and community involvement. All students filled out and submitted a post-card requesting admissions information from Gonzaga. Students were then treated to lunch in the cafeteria, which offered a variety of choices and catered to multiple dietary requirements. The trip was not only fun, but also a great reminder to the freshman AVID class that it is never too early to start planning for college!

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