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The mission of GEAR UP is to significantly increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education.

GEAR UP is designed to enable more young Americans to stay in school, study hard and take the right courses to succeed in college. The aim is to help communities create new or expanded school programs and provide educational opportunities for students.

Additionally, GEAR UP prompts local schools, community-based organizations, private industry and institutions of higher education to work in partnerships to help students, and their parents, gain needed knowledge and bolster academic programs in their schools.


Target Schools

All students grades 6-12 attending The Center’s target middle schools and high schools.

Middle Schools
  • J. Harold Brinley
  • John C. Fremont
  • Garside
  • Robert O. Gibson
  • K.O. Knudson
  • Jerome Mack
  • William E. Orr
  • West Prep
  • Ed Von Tobel
High Schools
  • Canyon Springs
  • Chaparral
  • Desert Pines
  • Valley
  • Western
  • West Prep


For Students

  • Academic and financial counseling
  • Exposure to academic programs and cultural events
  • Tutoring, after-school instruction, and preparation of college-entrance exams
  • Assistance with completing college admission and financial aid applications
  • Mentoring programs, career exploration, and leadership development
  • Information on postsecondary education opportunities
  • College tours
  • College preparation and summer enrichment programs
  • Parent/family involvement and activities
  • Credit retrieval
  • Workshops (financial literacy, study skills, SAT/ACT Prep, etc.)

For Parents

Parental Workshops:
  • Identifying scholarship and financial aid opportunities
  • Promoting student achievement
  • Supporting transition from high school to college
  • Encouraging parental involvement
Resources for parents who may have academic barriers:

How Do I Apply?

If you are a student at any of the seven participating schools, contact your GEAR UP school coordinator or advisor to obtain more information about GEAR UP.