GU4LA Celebrates Students, Families for GEAR UP Week

GEAR UP 4 LA recently joined GEAR UP programs across the country to kick off GEAR UP Week, a national campaign designed to celebrate the successes of students and families and showcase the #GEARUPworks impact on local communities.

From Sept. 20-24, GU4LA’s 43 high schools hosted activities – including workshops, open houses, lunchtime meet-and-greets, and family engagement opportunities – to share how GU4LA services empower students and families to plan for their futures.

“GEAR UP works because of the passion, support and dedication of our staff and partners, the resilience of our students and families, and the relationships we build to provide the resources necessary for students to achieve their postsecondary and career goals,” GU4LA Project Director Lois Bramwell said.

The City of South Gate helped launch GEAR UP Week during a Sept. 14 City Council meeting, when GU4LA was presented a proclamation.

“These folks are special because they’re the ones that guide [students], assist them, encourage them, and give them all the motivation so they can move on … to a university, community college, or a career,” Mayor Al Rios said. “The important thing is that they’ll be contributing individuals to our community.”

GU4LA supports students in the Classes of 2024 and 2025 with wraparound supports and services that inform their college and career aspirations.

The program also supports GU4LA graduates from the Classes of 2020 and 2021, including Sophia Kim, who is now a sophomore at UC Santa Barbara.

“GEAR UP really helped me explore the different options of higher education, whether that be by taking us on college campus tours or helping us understand our financial award letter throughout senior year,” Kim said. “GEAR UP is really a fantastic resource every student should take advantage of.”

To help showcase how GEAR UP has collectively impacted California, GEAR UPs from across the state met with a representative from the Office of Sen. Alex Padilla, who heard directly from alumni, current students, and families how #GEARUPworks for them.

“It’s very helpful to attend the workshops and understand graduation and college entrance requirements,” UCLA Community School parent Raquel Martinez said. “I think it’s so important because it motivates us as parents to get the information.”

Although GEAR UP Week celebrates the program’s unique contribution to student success in communities, the work goes beyond five days, Bramwell said.

“Our work is ongoing, proactive, and impactful for the students and families we serve.”