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GEAR UP Achievers & GEAR UP RISE UP/SKY Program Celebrate National GEAR UP Week

The GEAR UP Achievers & GEAR UP RISE UP/SKY Programs announced their participation in National GEAR UP Week 2023. September 25-29th commemorated the continuing success of Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP), a college access program providing students and families with the support and resources they need for college success. Since its inception in 1999, GEAR UP has improved educational outcomes for millions of low-income, minority and disadvantaged students across the United States, including 4,470 served by GEAR UP Achievers and 9,099 served by GEAR UP RISE UP/SKY program.

GU RISE UP/SKY coordinators were busy in all 13 school districts across the state engaging with our GEAR UP participants. Our GU Coordinators have been innovative and have prepared fun and educational activities through the week. From getting to know your GU staff to social emotional health, our GU Coordinators ensured program participants participated and reminded our students of the support services they can receive though GEAR UP.

GEAR UP Achievers coordinators were on the go in all 4 school districts supporting students, families, school-based staff and engaging in STEM activities. Coordinators hosted college fairs, career panels, college access workshops, family nights, GEAR UP led assemblies, STEM field trips and classroom science experiments, and more!

GEAR UP continues to have lasting impacts on the communities they serve. One GEAR UP Program Parent mentioned, “I love the experiences that students being a part of a Gear Up class receive; my daughter fell in love with UW since she visited the campus with the Gear Up program. This will be her first-year at UW!” (Parent at Toppenish High School). GEAR UP is touching the lives of so many young people. Jackie Garcia, a senior at Foster High School recalled her favorite thing about GEAR UP as being, “Very welcoming and anyone can fit in. We have a lot of fun things for students to do and be engaged. As well as incorporating families.” National GEAR UP Week is a time to celebrate these accomplishments in our community.

During National GEAR UP week, we take the opportunity to become more visible to our program participants in their schools. We do outreach, special programming, but above all we make it meaningful and fun for everyone. Our students’ response is always positive and welcoming. #GEARUPWORKS

Dina IbarraDirector

White Swan High School
Stress balls, canvas painting, cap and gown try-ons

Wahluke High School
Graduation Pledge

Goldendale High School
Care packages for 1st year students by 11/12th grades students

Toppenish High School
Getting to Know you Wheel

Sunnyside High School
Planning Your Future event

GEAR UP Week Achievers


For more information about UW GU RISEUP/SKY please contact Dina Ibarra e: For more information about UW GU Achievers, please contact Roslyn Kagy e: To learn more about the national GEAR UP program, please contact the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships at 202-530-1135 or

About UW GU RISEUP/SKY: Offers events and programs designed to help students from underserved communities prepare for and succeed in higher education.

About UW GU Achievers: Our goal is to dramatically increase the number of students who enter and succeed in post-secondary programs.