Some high school students lack the chance for a college education, but the Gear Up program helps give students the opportunity for secondary education. The gear up program gets kids thinking about college as early as middle school.
Gear Up Mentor Baylee Stafford said, “We make sure that these students understand why college is important, and that even if they don’t think it’s possible to get there, it is.”
Each student has their own reason for joining Gear Up.
Gear Up student Rubi Colin Zarate explained, “I’m probably going to be the first person in my family to actually go to college, so it’s just kind of its setting this big goal that some of my family members haven’t been able to get to.”
Sara Bales, another Gear Up student, was glad for the experience. “Gear up has taken us on many college campus tours,” she said. “So that’s helped me figure out what kind of college I would like to go to based on size, and also what they have to offer.”
Teachers use a hands-on approach to keep students engaged. “We do a lot of activities that help you learn the same thing without listening to lectures,” Stafford said.
“It helps you first of all interact with the people that you’re around,” Bales said. “And it also teaches you things like leadership, and just little personality traits.”
It’s all about getting students excited for a future they may not have thought possible. Zarate said, “I’m learning about new things and different experiences. I’m excited to meet new people and see how many opportunities are really out there for what I’ve been looking for.”
On Tuesday, 65 students were at Central Wyoming College from as far as Jackson to get a feel for the campus.
Gear Up is a federally funded program helping over two thousand Wyoming students.