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POWELL, Wyoming — The Northwest College GEAR UP Program is celebrating National GEAR UP Week Sept. 19-23 by recognizing the number of young people from the Big Horn Basin who have improved their educational outcomes by participating in the program.
“Since its inception in 2005, NWC’s GEAR UP has touched the lives of more than 900 students across the Big Horn Basin,” Rebecca Moncur, NWC GEAR UP program coordinator, said. Nationwide, the program has helped millions.
GEAR UP stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs. It’s designed to get young teenagers thinking about their life goals beyond high school and how they can lay a foundation for achieving them while still in school.
Qualifying students are invited to participate as early as seventh grade and are supported all the way through high school and their first year of college with tutoring, mentoring, academic preparation, career exploration, financial education, college visits, scholarships and much more.
“I invite any Big Horn Basin student in seventh through 10th grade, as well as parents, to visit with me about their eligibility for GEAR UP,” she said. “We provide services in Basin Burlington, Cody, Cowley, Greybull, Lovell, Manderson, Meeteetse, Powell, Tensleep and Worland schools.”
The many ways GEAR UP has changed lives for area youth is as heartwarming as it is inspiring, according to Moncur.
“One student in particular leaps to mind when thinking about the difference this program makes,” she said. “This girl’s family was heavily consumed by her brother’s ongoing health issues and burdened with medical bills. There just wasn’t enough family energy to help her plan for her future, and college was out of the question. But she started in GEAR UP during seventh grade and began to identify her life goals and to create pathways to achieve them. Now, despite the odds created by her family’s situation, this young woman is a senior studying psychology at the University of Wyoming — without any financial worries.”
To learn more about the NWC program contact Moncur or GEAR UP Specialist Callee Erickson at 307-754-7823.