West Virginia GEAR UP Student Leadership Academy Held Tuesday for Local Students | WCHS Network | News • Sports • Business
CHARLESTON, W. Va. — More than 1,500 high school students from dozens of schools across the state had the opportunity to begin planning for college and post-graduation on Tuesday.
West Virginia’s GEAR UP Student Leadership Academy was held at the Clay Center in Charleston and featured informative and motivational college planning activities.
“This is an opportunity for students to learn about all the different forms of higher education and specialized vocational training, to get them excited about their future, and to help them plan for those future goals,” said Jason Luyster , assistant manager of West Virginia GEAR UP to MetroNews. .
West Virginia Higher Education Chancellor Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker gave a keynote address before a college mascot dance/talent contest was held. Included mascots of WVU, Marshall, Concord, WVU-Parkersburg and WVU Tech
Juan Bendana, author, DJ and renowned speaker on youth motivation, gave a speech after the dance.
“I want you to be proud to talk about college and what it means for your future. I want you to talk to your friends, neighbors, brothers, sisters, and cousins, and tell them they can go too. higher,” Tucker told the crowd.
Participating students represented 34 middle schools from the 11 counties served by West Virginia GEAR UP: Boone, Clay, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, Mingo, Nicholas, Roane, Wayne, Webster and Wirt.
According to WV GEAR UP, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission received a $24 million GEAR UP grant from the U.S. Department of Education in October 2021 to provide planning and preparation services to more than 17,500 students in these counties over seven years.
This was the first academy for WV GEAR UP since 2019 due to COVID-19 and a previous grant expiring.
No scholarships were awarded to students on Tuesday but 11 laptops were distributed.
Luyster said it’s important to start telling kids earlier, especially in middle school, about possibilities after high school.
“Of the 1,500 students we have on hand, we know they are going to go in 1,500 different directions. We need to help them understand what that direction is and help them start taking those steps to achieve that goal,” he said.
— WV GEAR UP (@WVGEARUP) September 27, 2022