Clarkston GEAR UP hosts another successful Family College Planning Forum

About 200 families joined Clarkston GEAR UP staff and 20 different colleges and military branches from the inland northwest for the 6th Annual Clarkston High School WSU GEAR UP “Family College Planning Forum” on October 28th. The event kicked off with a pizza dinner and college fair and provided families the opportunity to mingle with recruiters. Following dinner, a keynote speech was delivered by John L. Stevenson, Ret. US Naval Academy. Mr. Stevenson discussed the importance of conducting research on best educational/career pathways, and finding the most efficient, economical means of attaining that undergrad degree, as well as landing the first job in your field. The entertaining and interactive keynote helped families realize the importance of researching the pathways to a satisfying career.

After the keynote, informational breakout sessions were conducted on a variety of post-secondary topics including: college financing, the applications process, scholarships, student life, and much, much more. Presenters came from University of Idaho, Washington State University, Lewis-Clark State College, Gonzaga University, Head Masters School of Hair Design, Eastern Washington University, Eastern Oregon University, Lewis Clark Credit Union, and Walla Walla Community College.

Following the breakout sessions, students and parents gathered in the cafeteria for a reception with the recruiters, which provided additional time for one-on-one interaction. GEAR UP received an incredible amount of positive feedback from attendees who expressed gratitude for hosting such a great opportunity for parents and students to learn about the different options after high school. Thanks to all of the representatives from the different institutions for making this family forum such a huge success!

Clarkston OVP III Take the PSAT to prepare for the Redesigned SAT

One-hundred eighty-six of Clarkston High School’s GEAR UP cohort took the Preliminary SAT (PSAT) on Wednesday, October 14th, at Clarkston High School. The PSAT is a standardized test that provides firsthand practice for the SAT, which serves as a college entrance exam. 

This year’s PSAT is aligned with the Redesigned SAT that makes its appearance in March of 2016. The PSAT helps students gain access to college and career planning tools. In addition, all juniors who took the PSAT have a chance at the National Merit Scholarship depending on their scores. 

Along with offering the PSAT, GEAR UP hosted test prep sessions leading up to the actual test date. Prep sessions were instructed by GEAR UP tutor, Cherie Wormell, utilizing SureScore, College Board, and Khan Academy activities.

The next step for Clarkston GEAR UP will be to help OVP III students prepare for the SAT they will take beginning the spring of 2016. GEAR UP staff will make a strong push to get all OVP III students registered and prepared for their first attempt at the SAT. With the next SAT date looming right around the corner, we are hopeful the PSAT was a good practice run for the juniors.

Congratulations to all students who completed the PSAT and achieved another milestone on the way to college readiness!

Clarkston High School OVP III Students Take the ASVAB

As part of the Clarkston GEAR UP career exploration program, 179 Clarkston High School juniors took the ASVAB on October 15th, 2015. The ASVAB exam provides students with individualized results to optimize career exploration. Dr. Steven Cook led hour-long ASVAB results interpretation classes on November 18th, 2015 for all participating juniors. 

Students were given the opportunity to use their results and an online interest inventory for in depth career exploration and planning. Many students expressed appreciation for the interpretation of their results to help further their research into a potential career pathway. The ASVAB was provided at no-cost to the students. Thank you, Clarkston High School, for allowing the Class of 2017 to complete this great opportunity!

Clarkston GEAR UP hosts Bright Futures Boot Camp

The Clarkston GEAR UP program designed and implemented a special summer program, Bright Futures Boot Camp, for their OVP III cohort in August.The rigorous, four-day camp introduced the concept of “soft skills” to students, enabled students to conduct college and career searches, assessed their individual college math readiness, provided guidance and resources for applying and paying for college, and helped students complete scholarship searches using camp was held on August 17th thru August 20th in the Clarkston High School GEAR UP room.












Soft Skills – Skills to Pay the Bills

Soft Skills – Skills to Pay the Bills

Careers Guidance Washington – HS & Beyond Planning

GEAR UP – 7 Steps to the FAFSA


EdReady – Math Assessment

EdReady – results & next steps

Khan Academy – Making High School Count

Khan Academy – exploring, applying, & paying


Careers Guidance Washington – Career Planning & college searches

Careers Guidance Washington – college inquiries & career options – set up scholarship search profile – scholarship search

Site Manager, Pat Sobotta used the "Skills to Pay the Bills: Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success" curriculum developed by Office of Disability Employment Policy to present "soft skills” to GEAR UP students.  The curriculum was created for youth development professionals as an introduction to workplace interpersonal and professional skills, and is targeted for youth ages 14 to 21 for in-school and out-of-school environments. The program, relevant for today’s workforce, is comprised of modular, hands-on, engaging activities that focus on six key skill areas: communication, enthusiasm and attitude, teamwork, networking, problem solving and critical thinking, and professionalism.  At the boot camp, GEAR UP emphasized the importance of soft skills for success in college and the work force. The camp focused on the definition of soft skills, communication, teamwork, and professionalism.  Follow up workshops on soft skills will be offered throughout the school year.

Cherie Wormell, a Clarkston GEAR UP tutor, used the EdReady online resource to provide a college ready math assessment that delivered individual results, study options, and a personalized study path to fill in knowledge gaps.

GEAR UP staff team taught career and college readiness activities using Career Guidance Washington designed to prepare all students for their future.  The focus was on individual transcripts and the High School & Beyond Plan.

The boot camp used the Khan Academy video series to better understand the importance of high school course selection, extracurricular activities and involvement, and the college admissions process.  Finally, two sections of the boot camp were dedicated to the students utilizing website to create a profile and conduct scholarship searches.

Congratulations and thank you to the students that completed the boot camp!

Clarkston High School’s GEAR UP Success Story, Logan Heflin

Clarkston High School student, Logan Heflin, is an exceptional example of youth leadership and hard work. Whether it’s in the classroom or on the playing field, Logan provides the grit, determination, intelligence, and leadership to excel and promote success. He is a 4.0 student and three-sport athlete. In addition, Logan is a member of the high school JROTC program, Asotin County Youth Commission, and Link Crew.

When not studying in GEAR UP or working out in the gym, Logan is heavily involved in providing time and effort to community service projects throughout the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley. He has logged an impressive 80 hours to the community. According to Logan, by providing his service he will “become a better citizen and develop critical life skills that will help me be a successful person.”

Currently, Logan has career interests in sports nutrition and athletic training. He is also considering architecture as a possibility. His number one college choice is Duke University.

Above all else, Logan is an amazingly positive and friendly person. He is the most pleasant student to come across in the school hallways. He always has a smile and hello for his fellow students and school staff.

There is no doubt that where ever Logan goes and whatever he pursues in life, he will be a success. Congratulations, Logan! You are an extraordinary young man and a great example to all students.

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