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High School students benefit from Gear-Up summer program

Posted Thursday, August 11, 2005

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Siler City, NC - The Gear-Up program sponsored its annual summer transition program for rising ninth graders in Chatham County Schools at Jordan-Matthews High School from July 11-28. Seventeen students voluntarily participated and were able to experience a view of high school and college life.

Among their activities, the students heard motivational speakers who encouraged the students to continue their education into college. Gear-Up Coordinator Jay Palmer noted that, for example, one speaker told the listeners to, “Let your attitude determine your altitude.”

They also took field trips to the CCCC Sanford campus, RCC in Asheboro, the North Carolina Arts Incubator in Siler City, Sandhills Community College, NC State University, NC A&T, UNC Greensboro, Blandwood Mansion in Greensboro, and Alamance Community College. Palmer added an extra incentive for students who met an attendance and behavioral goal by taking them to the Greensboro Grasshoppers baseball game. None of the students had ever attended a minor league baseball game.

During the three weeks the students were able to tour the Jordan-Matthews campus, talk with administrators, and learn about high school schedules and daily routines.

“We want students to see that college is readily accessible to them and that financial resources are available if they know where to look. It's important they understand that what they do from day one in high school affects what they are able do in the future. I wanted them to see that the sky's the limit,” explained Palmer.

Gear-Up NC is a grant-funded initiative that is entering its fifth year in Chatham County Schools. The Gear-Up program is housed at Jordan-Matthews and serves students countywide beginning in middle school. Students who participate continue to be tracked throughout high school in an effort to increase the number of college-bound students from the county. The program also focuses on assisting students as they transition from middle to high school. As part of the program students are able to visit area colleges and community colleges and participate in programs like mentoring, workshops, and tutoring after school during the regular school year.

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High School students benefit from Gear-Up summer program
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