Fayetteville, N.C. (October 13, 2022) — Fayetteville State University’s (FSU) GEAR UP program — Gaining Early Awareness & Readiness for Undergraduate Programs — celebrated National GEAR UP Week (September 26th -30) with events for students at its four target schools: Westover High School, Seventy-First High School, E.E. Smith High School and Douglas Byrd High School. Additional events to help high school students prepare for college are scheduled throughout this fall and into the spring, including a “How to Pay for College” workshop tonight.
GEAR UP helps high school students enhance their academic skills and realize their dream of a college education by helping them prepare, apply and pay for college. FSU’s GEAR UP program recently received proclamations from Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin and North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper the week prior to National GEAR UP week proclaiming September 26-30 as National GEAR UP Week in North Carolina.
Both proclamations urged citizens to focus on college readiness and preparedness, including applications and financial resources. According to the governor’s proclamation, this effort supports North Carolina’s commitment “…to providing a quality education for all students, helping them to achieve their highest potential."
The FSU GEAR UP Program is funded from 2017-2025 entirely from the U.S. Department of Education in the amount of $1,200,000 annually.
GEAR UP coaches hosted a Family Night at Westover High School and a football game tailgate at E.E. Smith High School on September 29, 2022. Both events celebrated National GEAR UP Week and FSU, along with its partners, shared information about the college application process, recruitment, resources and available initiatives/opportunities with interested students and their families.
At Westover High School’s Family Night, approximately 80 students and families came out to celebrate GEAR UP Week, learn about program resources and interact with GEAR UP partners Amariche Hawkins from FSU’s Office of Admissions and Fayetteville Technical Community College-High School Connections Career Coach Jennifer Dugat.
At the E.E. Smith High School tailgate, GEAR UP provided a free meal to students from its sponsored food truck as well as a space for students to connect with GEAR UP partners Brooke Vann from FSU’s Office of Admissions; Fayetteville Technical Community College High School Connections team Malcolm Pace and Benjamin Fisher; Kevin Brooks of thegroupTheory Inc.; and Belinda Wilkerson Ed.D., from Steps to the Future LLC.
In addition to distributing college-related information, the week also included social-emotional engagement programming that allowed students to check in with themselves and self-identify where they are mentally. GEAR UP coaches used Wellness Wednesdays at Douglas Byrd High School; Positivity/Advice boards at E.E. Smith High School; letters to Future-self at Seventy-First High School; and a time-capsule project at Douglas Byrd High School where the classes of 2023, 2024, 2025 and 2026 put their senior-year goals in a time capsule to open during their senior year.
E.E. Smith’s Danareyn Hamlett and Jacob Poston hosted GEAR UP Tutoring and Seventy-First High School’s Eboni Bain and Tyana Thorn held a College & Career Panel. Westover High’s Dawn Holmes and Dancia Dozier hosted College Knowledge games and Douglas Byrd High School’s Janelle Bright, La'Precious Barabino and intern Alexis Wrighton hosted trivia games. Students loaded up on GEAR UP swag such as water bottles, lanyards, fidget pens and clear backpacks and won prizes such as wireless earphones and portable Bluetooth speakers.
In addition to family night and tailgate, GEAR UP also hosted engagement games during lunch periods to get students interested in college and educate them about their college options. Postponed a week due to Hurricane Ian, the E.E. Smith staff versus students’ dodgeball game on Friday, October 7th capped off a successful week.
Additional activities and information sessions are scheduled throughout the fall and into spring 2023. See the schedule below and stay connected on Instagram @FSUGEARUP and FSU GEAR UP on Facebook.
These College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) clinics will be for any high school senior enrolled in any TRIO program/GEAR UP/ or 21st Century Community Learning Centers.
OCAP Fall Community Workshops Schedule for Oct 2022-February 2023 (all sessions from 6:00pm-7:00pm)
- Thursday, Oct 13th: How to pay for College — Financial Aid 101 Westover Recreation Center
- Wednesday, Oct 19th: How to Prepare your Child for College Cliffdale Recreation Center
- Tuesday, Oct 25th: Academic Mindsets: From I Can't to I Can! College Lakes Recreation Center
- Tuesday, Nov 8th: A College that fits Like a Glove College Lakes Recreation Center
- Thursday, Nov 17th: A College that Fits Like a Glove Westover Recreation Center
- Wednesday, Dec 7th: How to Pay for College — Financial Aid 101 Cliffdale Recreation Center
- Thursday, Jan 12th: Academic Mindsets: From I Can't to I Can! Westover Recreation Center
- Wednesday, Jan 18th: I've Been Accepted to College: Now what? Cliffdale Recreation Center
- Tuesday, Feb 7th: Getting Paid: How to find a summer job College Lakes Recreation Center
ACT Test Prep: Saturday November 5th for GEAR UP Students.