GEAR UP Hawaii celebrates National GEAR UP Week 2012

Student achievement is celebrated and recognized nationwide, September 10-14

University of Hawaiʻi
Lesli Yogi, (808) 956-5443
Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education, University of Hawaii System
Posted: Sep 11, 2012

HONOLULU – GEAR UP Hawaiʻi, along with the Governor of the State of Hawaiʻi, celebrates National GEAR UP Week 2012, September 10-14. This week commemorates the continuing success of Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP), a college access program funded by the U.S. Department of Education to provide students and families the resources they need for college success.
Since its inception in 1999, GEAR UP has improved educational outcomes for millions of low-income students across the United States, including 10,000 students served statewide each year by GEAR UP Hawaiʻi.
GEAR UP Hawaiʻi's celebration includes various activities focused on preparing students for higher education throughout the school year. In September, 30 Hawai‘i public schools throughout the state will receive training and begin to implement, a college and career access web portal designed to help students plan for college and career while in high school.
During the months of October through December, GEAR UP Hawaiʻi will launch the pilot project “College Application and Exploration Season” to assist high school students to explore and apply for college. Volunteers, college faculty and staff will work with five high schools to encourage their seniors to complete a college application and apply for financial aid.
GEAR UP Hawai‘i will also sponsor over 50 financial aid workshops and events statewide to help families and students apply for financial aid. To see a complete listing of upcoming events go to:
Over the past year, GEAR UP Hawai‘i has served over 10,000 low-income students statewide in grades seven through 12 and through their first year in college at University of Hawaiʻi campuses. Through a partnership with the Hawai‘i State Department of Education and the University of Hawai‘i System, as well as the government, nonprofit, and private sectors, GEAR UP Hawai‘i provides information, encouragement, support, resources, and services to help eliminate achievement gaps among groups traditionally underrepresented in higher education.
“GEAR UP Hawaiʻi has been a critical program to assist in leading education reform efforts to help meet the state’s goal of 55 percent of working age adults holding a two- or four- year college degree by 2025,” said Karen Lee, Executive Director of Hawai‘i P-20 Partnerships for Education, which oversees GEAR UP Hawai‘i. “The program works hand in hand with UH and the Hawai‘i DOE to prepare Hawai‘i’s students to graduate from high school ready for college or a career, which is absolutely essential to our state’s future.”
One of GEAR UP Hawaiʻiʻs major initiatives this year was to support students in their first year in college. This summer, GEAR UP sponsored multiple freshman orientation events and activities at the University of Hawaiʻi’s campuses to help ensure students were prepared for college life.
“We are extremely thankful for the work that GEAR UP Hawaiʻi supported this summer with our first time freshmen entering the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa,” says Clement Bautista, director of the UH Manoa Office of Multicultural Student Services. “It’s not only about preparing students for higher education, but giving them the necessary tools and knowledge to succeed once they get there.”
“National GEAR UP Week is a time to highlight all these accomplishments for our program as well as for programs across the country,” says Angela Jackson, GEAR UP Program Director and Associate Director of Hawaiʻi P-20 Partnerships for Education. “To be part of a national effort which inspires hopes and dreams that college is possible and imperative is something worth celebrating.”
For more information about GEAR UP Hawaiʻi, please contact Lesli Yogi, Business and Community Outreach Specialist, or go to
To learn more about the national GEAR UP program, please contact the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships at (202) 530-1135 or