RVHS GEAR UP Students Make an Autumn Visit to Eastern Washington University

On November 21st, Finley GEAR UP took 38 River View High School 10th and 12th graders on a trip to visit Eastern Washington University in Cheney, WA. Only a handful of students had been to EWU in the past so it was a new experience for most in the group.  Also in attendance were 5 GEAR UP tutors, RVHS English teacher Tyler Hogg, and Finley GEAR UP Site Manager Amandalyn Rubio.

The packed bus arrived at Eastern around 9am and soon began the first activity of the day. The students were split by grade and each group was taken on a tour of the campus.  A highlight of the tours included a stop at the Pence Union Building, which serves as the community center for EWU containing dining services, the campus bookstore, computer labs, and meeting rooms. Other highlights included the University Recreation Center, Roos Field, and the JFK Library.

Both tours ended at Senior Hall where the second activity took place, an Admissions Presentation and Student Panel Q & A. The admissions presentation gave the students great information about EWU, including the process of applying and enrolling at the school, what kind of programs are offered, and the cost of attending. During the student panel the River View students learned more about the campus from a different perspective. The panel talked to the students about making their own schedules, being in clubs, different sports offered and fun things to do on campus and in the Cheney and Spokane area. At the end of the session the RVHS students also heard from Aaron McGaughey, RVHS Alumni and current junior at EWU. It is always exciting for the students to see alumni from back home doing well in college.    

After the admissions presentation, the students headed to Tawanka Commons where they sat down for an all you can eat lunch alongside current EWU students. During this time the students were also able visit the bookstore and a group of students who were interested in engineering were taken on a tour of the Computing and Engineering Building led by Aaron McGaughey, who is currently studying in the Engineering program.

After lunch the group headed back to Senior Hall for their last activity of the day, a Financial Aid presentation from the EWU Financial Aid & Scholarships Coordinator. She talked to the students about the important parts of Financial Aid, including filling out the FAFSA application and understanding the cost of going to college.

Overall the students had a very informative day and seemed thoroughly impressed with the EWU campus, students, and staff. 11 RVHS seniors were so impressed; they intend to apply to EWU this winter! Thank you to everyone who made the trip a success!

RVHS Student Shows Strong Initiative by Asking for Help from the GEAR UP Program

Tenth grade River View High School & GEAR UP student, Jadyn Kohl, recently showed strong self-initiative by reaching out to Finley GEAR UP Site Manager Amandalyn Rubio and requesting help from a GEAR UP tutor.

Jadyn has been recently struggling in her Geometry class. Her lack of understanding in the class was severely affecting her grade and she knew she could do better. With encouragement from her mom, who told Jadyn she shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help, Jadyn turned to the GEAR UP program for support.

At the end of September Jadyn had a solid D in Geometry. She began one-on-one tutoring with Pavel Radashevskiy (GEAR UP’s newest tutor) in October, and by the beginning of November Jadyn had raised her grade to a C! Jadyn said she would definitely recommend getting help from GEAR UP to her classmates. “I wanted help from people with experience in the class, and GEAR UP makes it easier to understand.”

Finley GEAR UP is very proud of Jadyn and encourages all students to follow in her footsteps and use GEAR UP as a resource for help in all their classes. 

River View High takes PSAT

This year, River View High School and WSU GEAR UP partnered to have the entire building engaged in college preparatory activities on October 15th. Seniors were hosted in the library for college preparatory work on personal statements, scholarship or school admission applications. 9th-11th grade students were hosted in one of the various teachers’ rooms at River View taking their PSAT. GEAR UP and River View High have always partnered to bring the PSAT opportunity to 10th and 11th grade students. The test however has never been administered to students as young as 9th grade.

The decision for this came as a response to the One Vision Partnership objective number 2c: to increase cohort students’ average combined test scores on the SAT from 1347 to 1545. Students exposed to the test as much as possible before taking it their junior year will be more comfortable and know what to expect on test day. In addition, students will also get information on how they can sign up their junior year (when it comes) with GEAR UP for the Sure Score SAT prep academy. Mr. Eisenbarth and Mr. Hogg teach the math and ELA strategies for this course and students always finish the preparatory work strong and better prepared for the real SAT in June.

All of these efforts will guide students into the 1500 score range in the future when they take their SAT.

River View High School Goes Big to Celebrate National GEAR UP Week

River View High School in Finley did an amazing job in celebrating National GEAR UP Week! National  GEAR UP Week was celebrated from September 22-26. There were so many activities organized that  ranged from a scavenger hunt to a carnival. The entire week was a complete success and many  students were very impressed. Students had a great time participating in the week’s festivities and they  surely let GEAR UP aware of their gratitude. 

The week started off with a scavenger hunt of 32 college logos. Students  had to go around the school and find at least 15 hidden college logos  then write the name and number that was on the logo. Each student was  provided with a worksheet where they were instructed to write their  findings. As the students finished their worksheets, GEAR UP entered  the students into a raffle and a winner was chosen for a prize. This  activity really got the students excited for the rest of the week and what it had to offer.

On Tuesday of National GEAR UP Week, GEAR UP organized a dream wall poster that students were encouraged to sign. The poster was a long piece of butcher paper, which was decorated by Ms. Garza, where students had the opportunity to write down their dreams. Students had the chance to express their life goals and future plans with GEAR UP Staff.

On Wednesday, GEAR UP did an amazing job of organizing a Carnival! This carnival consisted of lots of hard work and dedication that the GEAR UP Staff provided. The carnival really did have a great turn out, many students chose to stay and have some fun. Walking around and seeing all the students laugh and compete against their classmates was very exciting. There were all sorts of games that included the traditional ring toss but also a new one called, TEAR It Up. Students along with all the staff really had a great time.

Thursday consisted of a table set out at lunch where students were able to grab a college themed  coloring page, sit down and color. This activity was interactive for the students because many sat down  with the GEAR UP Staff to color and just converse during lunch. Additionally students were given a 20-  space bingo sheet to play teacher bingo. 

Finally, on Friday we ended the week with a nice surprise for the students here at River View High School. GEAR UP decorated five tables with college give-a-ways such as lanyards, backpacks, and  USBs. The five tables were decorated with Washington State University, University of Washington,  Oregon State, University of Oregon, and Boise State themed decorations along with the incentives that  were laid out for the students. Students were very excited to come to lunch and find gifts waiting for  them. 

National GEAR UP Week could not have been as successful as it was without the help from GEAR UP Staff, River View High School Staff, and parent volunteers. Also, thank you to all the donors that allowed GEAR UP to give prizes with each activity: Purple Peaches, Super Mex, Denny’s, Dutch Bros, and Carmike Cinema.  Everyone had a great time joining in on all the fun activities.

Motivational Speaker Hoan Do Gets River View Students Motivated For School!

On August 26th, the first day of school, Finley GEAR UP was excited to have motivational speaker Hoan Do present to the students of River View High School. After a strong recommendation from a GEAR UP partner school, Site Manager Amandalyn Rubio was eager to have Hoan come out to Finley. Speaking professionally for over 6 years, he has traveled across the United States and to parts of Canada sharing his practical advice for succeeding in school and in the real world. He uses his own experiences, highs and lows, to connect with his audience.

The students of RVHS were immediately hooked by Hoan and were really impressed with the fact that he recently competed on NBC’s popular show American Ninja Warrior. Hoan’s first message began with a simple metaphor; the thoughts in your head are like a radio. He went on to explain that when you’re listening to the radio and a “whack song” comes on, what you do is, you change it! The same thing should be true for the thoughts in your head. When your thoughts start to drift to negativity, “You’re not good enough”, “Just give up”, “You won’t succeed”, choose to stop those thoughts and change them by using the phrase, “Hold Up! That is Whack!” he then had the entire RVHS student body stand up, hold their hand out, and yell out the saying that has become synonymous with Hoan himself, “Hold Up! That is Whack!”

Hoan’s second message was based on trying new and different things. Becoming part of a school club, participating in a new sport, anything that can take you out of your comfort zone and help you broaden your social group and perhaps help you discover a hidden talent.

Hoan’s last message was for students to surround themselves with the right people. He gave examples of times when he was in high school and he would choose to study or practice wrestling and some of his friends would tell him things like “oh, do you think you’re better than us” those were the kind of people that Hoan didn’t want to surround himself with because their negativity could only bring him down. He advised River View students that surrounding yourself with people who want you to succeed and want to help you, good friends, teachers, or family, will push you further in school and in life.

At the beginning of his presentation, Hoan had begun with a story about a high school assignment. This assignment, titled the Rock Star Assignment, was a daunting task. It required students to stand in front of the entire class and lip sync a song. He explained to the students that he did not want to do it and was terrified about what people would say, he thought that his peers would make fun of him. The assignment was required though and he had to do it to pass the class, so he came up with an idea, chose a positive attitude and performed for his class. As a finale to Hoan’s presentation, everyone in the River View High School gymnasium had the treat of witnessing the same performance he had put on in high school. Donning a blond wig and cheerleading skirt, Hoan performed a cheerleading routine while lip-syncing Toni Basil’s “Mickey”. The students erupted in laughter and applause.  

After the assembly concluded, Hoan stayed in the high school commons and opened
himself up to questions and pictures from the students.  To coincide with one of Hoan’s messages about trying new things and getting involved, the River View High School clubs set up tables to give students a chance to see what the school offered in extracurricular activities and what they could get involved in. Clubs in attendance included: FFA, FCCLA, International Club, Drama Club, and GEAR UP. After the club fair, GEAR UP had three new GEAR UP Ambassador applicants, FCCLA gained four new members and FFA had over a dozen new member applications turned in and more are still rolling in. It was great to see so many of the students stay and talk to Hoan and explore what their school had to offer and it showed how well his message was received.

Having Hoan Do as a speaker for the first day of school was a great way to start the new school year off and his positive messages and advice can help assure that Finley GEAR UP students will have a successful year. 

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