GAINING EARLY AWARENESS AND READINESS FOR UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMS (GEAR UP)

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!

Clarkston welcomes Grant Baldwin!

On April 17th,Clarkston High School students were treated to a special assembly with the one and only Grant Baldwin, funded by WSU GEAR UP. The 750 freshmen through seniors and CHS staff gathered in the auditorium not knowing what to expect from the guest speaker and by the time he was finished I guarantee expectations were exceeded. Grant Baldwin has been speaking to youth for about 8 years and had nothing but positive things said about him, so we thought he would be the perfect fit for Clarkston. He spoke to the whole group about taking responsibility for their actions and caring enough about a problem to change it. He used humor and stories to reel the students in and then would hit them with his message leaving the auditorium completely silent. He spoke to the students in a way that made them feel like they were not being lectured or talked at, they were engaged in a valuable conversation – they just happened to be doing most of the listening.

After the assembly, seniors stuck around for a special workshop geared at helping them get ready for life after high school. All seniors received a “reality check” worksheet to fill out while they talked with Grant. This one page paper had strategic blanks for students to write in helping to keep them engaged as well as find the valuable lessons. They discussed how to decide what to do with their futures and that if they did not have it all figured out right now that it’s okay. Grant also talked about finances with them and how important it is to stick with a budget from the get go. Throughout the assembly and the workshop for seniors, Grant put himself into his speech; it was personable, funny and interactive with a great message tied in. Before we knew it the time was up and it was time to get back to class, but Grant did not rush out, he stayed and met with students who had been impacted by his words.

Grant Baldwin was more than just a motivational speaker to many of our students, he was an inspiration. We had a number of students approach us after the assembly to tell us that this was the best speaker GEAR UP had ever brought to Clarkston, and when you asked them what it had been about they could actually tell you – so it really must have been good! Thank you to Grant Baldwin for taking the time to come to Clarkston and have such a positive impact on our students!

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