Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools


Welcome to the GEAR UP Office at Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools. We serve the classes of 2020 and 2021 and offer an array of services including workshops, field trips, and college advising. We also provide leadership, scholarship, internship opportunities and much more with the intention of preparing our students for college. Our office is located in the Library for grades 10 and 11 and our staff is here to support students and parents from 7:30-4:30, Monday through Friday. Our doors, arms, and hearts are always open, so come on in!

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Our peer mentor program develops leadership qualities, strengthens public speaking skills, and trains students to become role models for their peers and advocates for their community. As mentors, students reach out to their peers and families with the premise that if individual students have the opportunity to climb the ladder of success, they will bring their families and communities along with them.


  • serve as a leader and role model to your peers
  • get fellow students excited about school and learning
  • attend regular meetings to build your leadership skills
  • encourage your fellow students to do well in their classes
  • become a better public speaker


To be a peer-mentor, students must have a 2.0 GPA or higher, a teacher/staff recommendation and parent permission. If you are interested in becoming a mentor, complete the online application.  Please stop by the GEAR UP office if you need help completing the application.

Click the button below to fill out an application!


FOR TEACHERS AND STAFF: If you think a student has what it takes to be a mentor, fill out a recommendation form by clicking on the button below!


Upcoming Events


Our Staff

Questions? Contact us at or [email protected] (Classes of 2020 & 2021).

  • David Gantt

    Site Coordinator

    • College: Los Angeles City College, Associates of Arts
      California State University, Northridge, Liberal Arts
      Pepperdine University, Master’s and Credential in Education
      California State University, Northridge, Master’s and Credential in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
    • Favorite Movie: The Sandlot
    • Favorite Food: Sushi
    • My biggest influence:  My parents…they both taught me the quality of hard work and perseverence.
    • Why I love my job:  I was the first one in my family to go to college and  I look forward to helping students get into college which will give them many opportunities in their future.
  • Jose Gaspar

    Academic Advisor

    • College: University of California, Berkeley
    • Favorite Movie: Coming To America
    • Favorite Food: Mc Donald’s
    • My biggest influence: My mom and Spiderman (in no specific order)
    • Why I love my job: To be given the opportunity to give back to the community, no matter how small, is an immeasurable blessing and honor. It is a labor of love and I am proud to do my part.
  • Heydi De Martinez

    Community Representative

    • College: I studied in El Salvador, elementary school and middle school in a school of nuns, my high school was in a Science-and-chemistry-focused college. I studied Law at the Univo University for three years.
    • Favorite Movie: Titanic
    • Favorite Food: Salvadoran and Mexican food
    • My biggest influence:My parents because they taught me the value of respecting others and my teachers because the knowledge they taught me.
    • Why I love my job: I love my job because I think education is very important, if you study you have better opportunities.I like to share with the parents and the community all my knowledge.  I like to learn new things and my job gives me the opportunity to do so.
  • Katty Secaida

    Community Representative

    • College:  
    • Favorite Movie: 
    • Favorite Food: 
    • My biggest influence: 
    • Why I love my job: 
  • Claudia Pena

    Community Representative

    • College:  Santa Monica College and Bryant College Medical Administrative Assistant program
    • Favorite Movie: Temple Grandin and My Name is Khan
    • Favorite Food: Mexican, Italian, Mediterranean and of course Salvadorian food.
    • My biggest influence: There are two people who has made me the woman that I am.  My grandmother who raised me to be a hard working woman and my son who has taught me to always fight back, never give up and understand the world from a different perspective.  He has made me a better person and because of him I learn new things every day.
    • Why I love my job: I love my job because keeping track of data is a very important part of the grant. I love data and it’s one of my biggest passions.