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

Celebrating GEAR UP Week at Southridge!

Southridge High School kicked off GEAR UP Week (September 19-25, 2014) with a scholarship presentation by Kristina Ellis. Kristina, a Vanderbilt University alumna, won over $500,000 in college scholarship money. Her message of ‘make yourself unique’ and ‘scholarship attainability’ resounded with our students. After her presentation, she answered questions from our scholarship-hungry students with specific advice on how they could make themselves better scholarship candidates.

On Monday, Southridge had College T-shirt Day. Lots of WSU and UW shirts made an appearance. Juniors and sophomores rocked College T-shirt Competition with the most shirts. They received 15 spirit points for the class spirit competition.

On Tuesday GEAR UP & Southridge students created a College & Career Dream Wall. Students wrote their dream on clouds, and they were added to a bulletin board in the main hallway. Students’ college dreams include colleges in Washington, such as: University of Washington (UW), Washington State University (WSU), and all over the county, including: Brigham Young University (BYU), Arizona State University (ASU), Princeton University, and Tennessee State University.

Many students had dreams in the field of medicine; dentists, doctors, veterinarians, anesthesiologists, physical therapists. Some students have both college and career dreams. These included ’to graduate from WU and be a vet,’ ‘WSU and be a vet or psychologist,’ ‘a aeronautical engineer and graduate from US naval academy,’ ‘sports medicine at University of Oregon,’ ‘ROTC at OSU,’ ‘psychology at BYU,’ ‘engineering at UW.’ Some students were undecided on college, but they had high flying career plans: a flight nurse, a marine biologist, a human profiler in the FBI, the president of the United States, a forensics scientist, a software engineer, a dermatologist, a zoologist, a photographer, a pilot, an architect, a singer, a professional basketball player, a cosmetologist, a teacher, a detective, an athletic trainer, a marine. Spurred by Kristina Ellis’ Scholarship presentation, some students’ dreams included. One student dreams of getting a full ride scholarship. Some dreams included not just attending college but graduating.

Students showed their love for GEAR UP on Thursday with ‘I love GEAR UP’ Photo Op day! Our GEAR UP Ambassadors made signs and hearts for photo props. They also served as photographers with their phones. Many students posed for photos that they put on twitter with the I Love GEAR UP hashtag. Teachers and even our principal Mr. Biehn got in on the action.

We wrapped up the GEAR UP week on Thursday with a college door decoration competition for teachers. We had several Eastern Washington University Doors, University of Idaho doors, UW doors, and WSU doors, BYU doors. Other college doors included UCLA, WSU-Vancouver, BYU, Whitworth, OSU, West Point, Pacific Lutheran University. One UW door included a skeleton outfitted in ducks regalia. Another door said “It doesn’t matter where U go, what matters is that u go!” The athletic office was decked out in WSU-TC their motto was “when the sun goes down, the cogs come out to play,” as Southridge’s mascot is the sun, it was extra cute. 

Southridge’s GEAR UP week was hugely successful! Southridge teachers, students, and staff all participated and shared their college spirit and love of GEAR UP. We increased college awareness and knowledge about GEAR UP here at Southridge. Our GEAR UP Ambassadors enjoyed GEAR UP Week so much, they asked when we are going to do it again.

Freshman First Day at Southridge

GEAR UP at Southridge High School started the 2014-2015 school year out with a bang this year! Freshman First Day, a freshman-only school day, was August 26, 2014. It involved a school tour, pep and administration assemblies, a short class schedule, and an ice cream social.

Lead by our student leadership groups, IGNITE, ASB, and Blu Cru, our incoming freshman were broken down into class groups, played ice breaker games, and toured the school. GEAR UP was one of the stops on the school tour. We introduced freshman to the GEAR UP program and our services. We discussed our role at Southridge and how to be successful.

GEAR UP brought in motivational speaker and ball of positive energy Aric Bostick, who fired up our freshman! He explained how he overcame his personal challenges and how Southridge freshman can overcome their challenges. Besides overcaming significant personal obstacles, he changed his attitude to succeed and attain his goals. He talked about how students can’t tell what life is like for other people from their appearance or behavior. He polled students to show them how many other students are or have gone through a difficult situation at home. Students were surprised how many other students were going through similar tough situations. Aric also explained that everyone is awesome. He encouraged us as a school to recognize awesomeness in others and be positive in our interactions.

While Aric was giving leadership some tips, freshman went to a shortened class schedule, so they wouldn't get lost the first day of school. They also meet their teachers and were able to connect with other freshman, so that the first day of school wouldn’t be so daunting with its sea of unfamiliar faces.Aric also held a leadership development session with our leadership students in IGNITE, ASB, and Blu Cru. He taught them some valuable leadership tools and ran through an exercise to help them understand how the popular and unpopular kids feel. The students were surprised how real it felt walking down the hall at school as popular or unpopular kids. They said that eye contact and one positive interaction could really change how they felt.

The day was finished on a sweet note with an ice cream social for the students. While the school administrators served ice cream, Aric served up a workshop for teachers and staff on making a difference with each student. He also discussed ways to increase positivity in the classroom. As Aric would say, “You are AWESOME!

Southridge HS & GEAR UP Welcome the Incoming Freshman Class of 2018

May ArticleIt is that time of the year where eighth graders are registering for high school and are getting prepared for the BIG move, HIGH SCHOOL! In efforts to help students learn more about Southridge High School, their new home, the counselors organized an 8th Grade Parent Night, where parents and students came to learn about the courses they can take during their freshmen year, in addition to getting acquainted to their new school. Since the GEAR UP program will be able to provide services to the incoming freshmen class the GEAR UP staff was present at this event. GEAR UP provided parents and students information about the services provided by the program as well as letting parents and students know about GEAR UP’s extra support that students will be receiving throughout their high school careers. GEAR UP also provided families with information about the summer program they are hosting in partnership with SHS, as an opportunity for them to have an advantage of a head start in their new school. Many students and parents are very excited for this new transition and are very happy that the GEAR UP program will be available to their student and their family. Welcome to SHS incoming Class of 2018 Freshmen!

Cara Filler Motivational Speaker Visits Southridge High School

April ArticleTo kick off Southridge High School’s “Safe Haven” school campaign, Southridge HS leadership in partnership with GEAR UP was able to bring in guest speaker Cara Filler.

Cara Filler a youth motivational speaker and prevention specialist presented to the entire school talking to students about traffic safety, choices, peer pressure and risk taking. In her presentation Cara shared her life story of her youth and how it was impacted by the loss of her twin sister during a car accident. It was during the summer of their senior year in High School when this happened; very much relating to students here at SHS. Students at the presentation were able to be inspired to stand up for themselves and their friends, have a good time safely and make better life-changing decisions. With Cara’s humor and ability to relate to the students, she encourages them to understand the choices they make and how powerful they can be. SHS continues the “Safe Haven” campaign with GEAR UP’s support focusing on smart choice making on the road, online and on campus.

Southridge GEAR UP Students Learn About Their Learning Styles

March Article150As mid-quarter has arrived at Southridge High School student have come to buckle down for upcoming tests and assignments. In efforts to do well students must understand what their learning style is. Therefore, enrolled students in the GEAR UP lab were able to learn about their learning style. After a learning style quiz, and two learning style activities, students were able to identify which learning style/strategy best fit them; audio, visual, kinesthetic and/or tactile. Our first activity titled “Yells, Looks, Runs,” was based on a scenario of being at a movie theater were the student realized fire had started; based on their first reaction (yells, looks, and runs) students were able to understand that their immediate reaction correlated to their learning strategy. Additionally, in our second activity titled the “Paper Airplane Exercise,” students were challenged to build an airplane with only auditory instructions, then visual directions and finally kinesthetic/tactile instructions where a demonstration took place. This activity not only allowed the students to understand their learning style but it also allowed them to realize what learning style does not fit them at all. In the end the GEAR UP lab consisted of students of all learning styles however, there were more kinesthetic/tactile learners.   

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