For Immediate Release
Contact: Sandy Connolly 651-259-3902, 612-618-6797
Four hundred Minneesota students in grades four through 12 are visiting college campuses across the state today. Another forty high school students are at the Capitol to talk with legislators about a program called GEAR UP that they have been part of since their middle school years. September 30 is national GEAR UP day, a federal program that has enabled thousands of kids attending schools with high percentages of disadvantaged students to get a leg up on college preparation.
Minnesota is one of 46 states receiving a federal GEAR UP grant, which funds a team of staff in 11 urban elementary, middle and high schools in Minneapolis and St. Paul to work with students in after school academic programs, present information to students and parents about college opportunities and expose students to college life through field trips and summer academic enrichment camps.
"We are really proud of these students, and the GEAR UP staff working in schools," said David Metzen, director for the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, who was at the Capitol with the students today. "For many, this program is their only exposure to college. The program serves all students. It shows them what is possible and then supports them on a journey that others in their family may not have taken."
In Minnesota, there are two GEAR UP programs, the largest of which is called Get Ready and is run by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education in the following schools, and also provides resources to other schools statewide:
A second and smaller GEAR UP program is run by St. Olaf College, serving students at Humboldt High school in St. Paul.