September 12, 2003

Crawford High Students ‘GEAR UP’ For Back-to-School Success

What does it take to get prepared for college? Students participating in Crawford High School’s GEAR UP college-prep program received important tips and motivation on this subject recently during a GEAR-UP back-to-school rally designed to keep them on track for academic and college success.

The rally – replete with pep talks from program educators, tutors and special guests, in addition to school drill team presentations, a DJ and music, and a BBQ-style lunch – was sponsored by GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), a federally funded initiative administered jointly by the University of California, San Diego, and the California Student Opportunity and Access Program (Cal-SOAP) of San Diego and Imperial Counties.

Lillian Garcia (right), GEAR UP director at Crawford High, introduces two of her staff tutors to students at Crawford back-to-school rally.

“We’re getting students excited about the new school year and their prospects for academic and college success,” says Lillian Garcia, GEAR UP director for Crawford High School which has 440 students participating in the program. Since middle school, many in this group of students have been receiving academic and motivational college-prep assistance through GEAR UP. The program will follow the students through high school graduation and is intended to help increase college-going rates.

“We’ve got a high-caliber academic program planned for the students this school year,” says Garcia, who also directs GEAR UP activities at Sweetwater Union High School in National City. “This includes college entrance exam-preparation workshops, parental workshops, college fairs and college campus visits.” GEAR UP students also participated in a host of academic enrichment and field trip activities over the summer.

In addition to GEAR UP programs at Crawford and Sweetwater Union High Schools, UCSD and Cal-Soap jointly administer GEAR UP initiatives at Gompers Secondary School in San Diego, and at Pauma School located on the Pauma Indian Reservation near Escondido. For more information on GEAR UP, contact (858) 569-1866.

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