Back to School Night
Students and parents made their way to the Weber State ballrooms and enjoyed a back to school night hosted by the State GEAR UP program on September 24. Upon arrival, each of the students received a school bag that contained school supplies and treats to help them start the new year off with a positive outlook. Throughout the event, parents were able to learn more about the services provided by the GEAR UP program and what opportunities are available for their child after their graduation.
To kick off the 2013-2014 academic school year, 90 of our partners joined us for a scrumptious breakfast at Weber State on October 3. During the breakfast, we were privileged to hear from our university president, President Chuck Wight, Student Affairs Vice-President Jan Winniford and Melissa Kincart from Utah Systems of Higher Education (USHE). Each speaker spoke about the value of being part of an outreach effort that strives to ensure that our youth are claiming their future with a goal in pursuing a higher education after high school.
Twice a year we offer a free ACT Prep course that runs for three consecutive Saturdays to help prepare students who are planning to take the ACT exam. On October 5,12 and 19, 118 students from over five area schools made their way to the Elizabeth Hall at Weber State and spent a total of 10 hours preparing themselves for the actual exam.
Multicultural Youth Leadership Summit
In partnership with the Utah Office of Multicultural Affairs, our annual Multicultural Youth Leadership Summit took place on October 30 at Weber State University. Over 800 Jr. high and high school students took part in a day long event that featured keynote speakers from CoolSpeak, the Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox, and Judge Andrew Valdez. Also included in the event, students were able to visit exhibit tables from schools/organizations/businesses through the state, and take part in breakout sessions that focused on their needs by grade levels and ethnicity.
High School Campus Visits
Ben Lomond High, DaVinci Academy, George Washington High and Ogden High have been participating in a event ran by the Ogden GEAR UP to help students observe college life in a classroom setting, and as well as living in student residential areas on campus. During each visit, approximately 50 students were split into 10 classes throughout the university to gain experience of how college classes operate. From these visits, students left with an understanding of what is expected of them when attending college and the responsibility it contains to pursue a higher education.
Each year during the Summer, our outreach programs get together to plan college campus tours for their program participants. Tours consist of visiting colleges all throughout the state of Utah and at times to the neighboring states. Student participants are given the opportunity to gain the experience of what a college atmosphere feels like and how life would be like away from home. During this past Summer, students were able to participate in three college campus tours that consisted of Southern Utah, Northern Utah, and Colorado/Wyoming Tour.
Southern Utah Tour
On April 4-6, TRiO Talent Search, Ogden GEAR UP, and State GEAR UP partnered together to do a joint Southern Utah Tour for their students. A total of 64 students participated and were able to enjoy a three-day trip exploring Utah Valley University, Snow College, Southern Utah University and Dixie State. To wrap up the tour, students were treated to a fun filled day at Zions National Park.
Northern Utah Tour
Two weeks after completing the Southern Utah Tour, 15 TRiO Talent Search students took part in the Northern Utah Tour on April 19. Students visited Weber State University, Salt Lake Community College, Westminster College, and the University of Utah.
Many of the students that our outreach programs work with, have not had the opportunity to go outside of the state of Utah. To encourage students to look at schools outside the comfort of their homes, Ogden GEAR UP took 25 students on a week long trip (June 10 - 14) to Colorado and Wyoming to visit various college campuses. Student were able to visit University of Wyoming, University of Denver, Air Force Academy and Utah State University-Eastern on their way back home.
On May 7, our department was fortunate enough to hold a recognition night on behalf of all our graduating high school seniors and partners within the community, schools, and university. Each of the programs took a moment throughout the event to recognize their seniors and award tuition waivers to students who showed outstanding workmanship in and out of school. As the programs recognized their students, partners were also recognized for their valuable partnership in allowing our department as a whole to continue our outreach efforts.
Summer Summit Leadership Institute
On June 18 - 21, 31 rising 12th grade students were selected to participate in a four-day summer leadership program and live like a college student at Weber State University. Students were able to participate in a variety of workshops that focused on academic topics, how to conduct a research on topics learned, and how to cultivate critical leadership skills. Once the event came to the end, students were able to invite their families to take part in a banquet in their honor. During the banquet, ten students were selected and awarded a $1,000 WSU scholarship waiver.
Connections is the State GEAR UP's summer program, designed to ensure that first year college students feel comfortable on campus when they start their first classes as a college student. Students were able to explore campus services, met with academic advisors and professors, become acquainted with campus clubs and activities, learn about the financial aid processes, register for classes, and forge new friendships.
In an effort to encourage students to become more aware of the vast opportunities available to them after high school, State GEAR UP took part in two Fourth of July city parades; Clearfield and Layton. Students met early on July 4 and festooned a flatbed with signs highlighting GEAR UP services, banners providing contact information, and patriotic decor. Wearing signs that named potential college choices, students threw candy, passed out informational flyers to the crowd, and chanted about the importance of education, GEAR UP, and going to college.