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

Ephrata Honor Society Visits Experience Music Project

Ephrata High School GEAR UP Students from the OVP II grant cohort group visited the Experience Music Project at the Seattle Center. This trip was a group of National Honor Society kids that got to visit one of the Northwest’s most interactive museums. The bus weathered the storm on Snoqualmie Pass in a blizzard to make the trek over to Seattle. Kathleen Allstott, the NHS Advisor at EHS, and a couple of parents gave the kids the ground rules and they were off and running in the EMP museum. The museum has interactive displays which allow the visitors to learn to play guitar, record vocals, or try their hand at playing a drum kit. There was amazing art and rock music history including listening to different genres and learning about the beginnings of many iconic bands of our time. There was an entire section chronicling the rise and fall of the band Nirvana including band members photos, instruments, and famous clothing that they wore during performances. There was also a science fiction area of the museum that contained famous artifacts from television and movies. There were green screen stages which allowed the students to put themselves into a movie and see how many scenes are made in modern film. The students were able to eat lunch at the Center House food court and have some free time. A small group was also able to attend a professional guitar lesson to learn some electric guitar techniques which was a favorite activity for those who attended. The return trip was again through driving snow but all returned safely home. The NHS trip to the EMP was a great cultural experience for Ephrata students that they don’t normally get.

Ephrata HS S.T.E.M. Advisory a Success

Ephrata High School GEAR UP site director Amy Grizzel collaborated with the administration to create and execute an advisory lesson discussing S.T.E.M. (Science Technology Engineering and Math). The presentation was delivered to the 9th graders in OVP III. The lesson was based on the GEAR UP supported Families4College curriculum. The students were introduced to what S.T.E.M. is and watched videos that were not only entertaining, but very informative and engaging. Students were excited to learn about careers in S.T.E.M. that they didn’t think of or that they didn’t know existed. The advisory lesson had the teachers lead a discussion and ask questions to challenge the students and get them thinking about their futures. The advisory session was very productive and was a great way to introduce students to S.T.E.M. and connect it to some of the classes and programs being offered at Ephrata High School that they can enroll in in the fall.

Ephrata Seniors Cash in on College Credits

Ephrata High School GEAR UP seniors (OVP II) that are enrolled in a statistics math class visited Big Bend Community College on January 10th. The students led by their teacher Cassie Roloff got to see what college life on campus was really like at BBCC. The purpose of the trip was to enroll in the school to count the high school class as college credit. This will be one of many steps that the students will take towards their successful futures. Students were also issued BBCC student ID cards and received an in depth campus tour. They were able to visit the STEM lab and the Physics lab which inspired them and got them more prepared to head for college. The entire morning was exciting and brought the students one step closer to attaining their goals.

Ephrata Hosts Shape Your Future

Ephrata High School GEAR UP led by Site Director Amy Grizzel hosted a “Shape Your Future” information night for the OVP III students. Over twenty-five families showed up to hear about the many opportunities in front of their students in the local area. EHS Principal Dan Martell welcomed the crowd and kicked off the night. A counselor from Big Bend Community College was on hand to answer questions about enrollment and admissions at BBCC. Christine Armstrong, the Director of the new Columbia Basin Skills Center was also on hand to introduce the many programs available there. Ephrata High School counselor Rhonda Hagy, and student specialist Jay Mills were also available to speak and introduced Running Start. They also discussed End of Course (EOC) assessments and HSPE testing. They taught parents and students how to read their transcripts as well which will be extremely helpful as they progress through school. It was a very enlightening night for everyone in attendance. This was a unique opportunity to have so many specialists on site to introduce some career advancing programs for the students of Ephrata High School.

Ephrata Seniors load up on College Money

Ephrata High School GEAR UP led by Amy Grizzel, EHS GEAR UP Site Manager, hosted two separate college finance nights to help students prepare for entry into college. The first event was a Scholarship Information Night held on December 11, 2013. Nearly 80 students and parents were flooded with valuable information about local scholarships like the Columbia Basin Foundation Scholarships. Chelan Kleyn, the administrator for the Paul Lauzier scholarship spoke about the “dos and don’ts” and what they look for in the application to have a successful package. Stan Pichinevskiy from Eastern Washington University gave the inside scoop on Eastern’s many scholarships available.

FAFSA Night was held on January 9th, 2014 at 6:30 P.M. in the EHS Library. Over 70 students and parents turned out in force and filled the computer lab to capacity. In fact this number nearly doubled attendance numbers from the previous year and a second computer lab had to be opened to support the overflow and we were thrilled. Excitement filled the room as students filled out the FAFSA with their parents or on their own and could see the promise of college money in their future. EHS GEAR UP invited some special guests to provide their expertise and help families through the stress of the application. Jeremy Iverson, the Asst. Director of Financial Aid at Big Bend Community College lent his expertise to the night. Lupe Mota and Mayra Mendoza made the long trek from WSU Tri-Cities and were a huge help as well. We also had the knowledge and expertise of a local CPA John Friend who works for Clifton Larson Allen. He was able to offer advice related to the students and families financial forms for filing. Thanks to all of them for taking the time to drive all the way here on a week night to help make our event special. FAFSA Night at Ephrata High School was a huge success and EHS GEAR UP was able to directly support more families than ever through this important step towards securing the students’ academic and professional futures.

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