During National GEAR UP Week I worked closely with three other people to come up with an engaging activity to get students excited for college. My group decided to cut out big letters spelling the word college and have people put sticky notes onto the letters. We had the students write fears they had for college, what they want to study, and what college they hope to attend. Our activity really got students involved and encouraged them to talk and tell others about their goals after high school. For some students, considering going to college has never crossed their minds. I would try to tell them some cool job opportunities based on what they enjoy doing. I was personally very surprised at how many students could answer right away where they wanted to go to college. I think that National GEAR UP Week helped me to learn more about colleges, but I know that it definitely put some positive ideas of college into our student body.
I always knew that I wanted to attend a four-year university. I knew what I wanted to do, and how I would get there, but what I didn’t know was how I was going to pay for college and everything else that you need to pay for, now I know it’s a lot of money! During National GEAR UP Week our group really got some student's thinking about college. When we would explain what they needed to do with the sticky notes we received a few blank faces and other times we got an immediate response. Some students could straight up tell us that they had no idea where they wanted to attend or even what they wanted to do after high school. This would often shock me because I’ve always known what I wanted to do in the future thanks to GEAR UP. GEAR UP has provided me with amazing opportunities, such as visiting universities, leadership opportunities like National GEAR UP Week, and I’ve even been really fortunate to spend a whole entire week at a campus and have the “full college student” feel. GEAR UP has also helped me find scholarships that are available to me and other ways of paying for college. Thanks to National GEAR UP Week we got ourselves and other students at Wa-Hi thinking about our futures.
This article was written by Wa-Hi GEAR UP Ambassadors; Pam Lozano, Lily Clancy, Courtney Brown, and Tenika Steen.