Pasco High GEAR UP Students Visit Gonzaga University

On February 20th Pasco High School freshmen, sophomores, and seniors, as well as a few parents had the opportunity of visiting Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA.  Gonzaga University is medium-sized, private Roman Catholic school, founded in 1887. Students had the chance to experience college life setting first hand. About 90% of the students that attended the campus visit are first generation college students.  

While on campus students received a campus tour (includes seeing a college dorm), and admissions presentation. Gonzaga University staff also provided information regarding financial aid for postsecondary education, and scholarship opportunities. Choosing a college or university is a big step in a student’s life.  This trip gave students the opportunity to know the expectations from Gonzaga University. One parent stated “My daughter has dreamed of attending Gonzaga University ever since 7th grade. Now that we’ve had the chance to visit Gonzaga she is 100% positive this is her school.” As GEAR UP staff, it is a privilege to take students and parents to experience college campus life first hand!

Lorenzo De Zavala

Washington State University Tri-Cities GEAR UP, had the opportunity to select nine 11th grade students from Pasco High School to attend The Lorenzo De Zavala (LDZ) Youth Legislative Session in San Diego, CA. LDZ selects only 1,000 high-achieving youth across the globe. The LDZ has outfitted youth internationally with the critical skills required for success that are rarely taught at school. Moreover, students learned to increase confidence and aptitude for building collaborative relationships in group settings, increase knowledge in organization protocol and procedure, and skill advancement in public speaking.

Five students out of nine from Pasco High School had never traveled out of Washington State or flown on a plane. GEAR UP created a first time experience of traveling and visiting a new state for these bright young students. Students arrived in San Diego, CA on Sunday June 22nd. Students stayed in college dormitories at San Diego University campus from June 22-29. They had a full schedule every day, from Jazzercise early morning to educational sessions. Students even had an opportunity to share their talents, during a talent show Friday night.  In addition, they also had a chance to explore San Diego, fair grounds and enjoy the ocean view scenery Thursday evening. Every student was grateful; they had the opportunity to experience the LDZ Leadership Conference, learn the center on serving humanity and changing lives and not to mention explore a whole new state. 

Financial Literacy Presentations a success at Pasco High

On February 5, 2013 three groups of fifteen students along with their teachers had their first introduction to TG Financial Literacy Module lessons. Washington State University Tri-Cities GEAR UP in partnership with TG is working to provide more helpful information and guidance to students and their families. TG is a public, nonprofit corporation that promotes educational access and success so that students can realize their college and career dreams. They offer resources to help students and families plan and prepare for college and learn the basics of money management.

Parent Outreach Specialist Lupe Aguilar has been trained in all twelve modules and has begun working with teachers to provide these presentations. The students will be working on three modules; needs and wants, setting goals and investing in undergraduate education. The focus of these presentations is to help students learn the importance of managing their financial goals and acquire the knowledge of costs and resources available for their post secondary education preparation.

Pasco High GEAR UP will also be offering some of these modules in the near future for the whole family.

WSU Field Trip Reflection

On Thursday January 31st, 32 sophomores, juniors, and seniors had the opportunity of visiting Washington State University in Pullman, WA. While on the campus visit the students went on a campus tour and attended presentations on admissions, financial aid, and student support services. In describing the presentations one student said, “It was very helpful, I did not know there were programs out there to support you and help you.”

Many of the seniors on this trip have applied to WSU and some have already been accepted! These students were able to see where they are going to be taking classes and living next year. The juniors and sophomores received lots of information that will help them when they are seniors. One student said, “Now I have more detailed information to give to my parents.”

One student shared, “My biggest fear about attending college was being alone; now I know about resources and how this program (Student Support Services) will help me find my way around.” College can seem scary, but the right information and people helping makes all the difference.

Now the students are saying, “I’m officially considering attending WSU.”

GEAR UP works!

Pasco High School GEAR UP students; Vanessa Rojas and Elizabeth Rios are keeping busy with their running start courses, their 11th grade activities and learning to help and support students in their current position as GEAR UP tutors at Stevens Middle School. Both of these students also attended Stevens Middle School and are proud to be able to come back and work with their own teachers. Parent Outreach Specialist Lupe Aguilar asked Vanessa how she feels about what she does and she answered: “I feel like I am giving back by showing students than anything is possible, I mean I am in high school taking college courses and working with WSU in a program that has helped me reach my educational goals… that’s cool.” Elizabeth was feeling quite the same and both girls look forward to what next year has to bring.

Site Director for Pasco High GEAR UP Jesus Mota and Parent Outreach Specialist Lupe Aguilar both began working with these girls while at Stevens Middle School and are proud of all their accomplishments.

GREAT JOB ladies!

WSU Tri-Cities
WSU Early Outreach