South Gate Middle School

South Gate Middle School


Welcome to the GEAR UP Office at South Gate Middle School, where our students read, lead, and succeed!

We are one of over twenty GEAR UP 4 LA schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District and serve the classes of 2024 and 2025.  Our unique cohort model allows our dedicated staff members to begin to offer services to our GEAR UP students in middle school and support them through their first year of college, which means that we will follow the same group of students for seven years!  We are excited to offer a variety of free services, which include but are not limited to academic advising, peer mentoring, college visits, summer programs, college knowledge, financial aid awareness, and career awareness.

The GEAR UP Office at South Gate Middle School is conveniently located in Room 19 by the staff parking lot.  Parents, students, and South Gate Middle School staff members are always welcome to stop by the GEAR UP office any time between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.  We look forward to working with our wonderful Viking families!

  • Contact GEARUP
  • Room 19
  • Office Phone: (323) 568-4050 Cell Number: (213) 605-0860
  • [email protected]

Our Staff

Questions? Contact us at [email protected] (Contact GEARUP).

  • Dr. Monique Ohashi

    Site Coordinator

    • College:
    • California State University at Los Angeles (CSULA)
    • -Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
    • University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)
    • -Master of Education and Teaching Credential
    • University of California at Riverside (UCR)
    • -Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Ethnic Studies
    • Mount San Antonio College (Mt. SAC)
    • -Associate of Arts in Liberal Studies
    • Favorite Movie:  Armageddon, Top Gun, Karate Kid, 13 Going on 30
    • Favorite Food:  Anything spicy and crispy
    • My Biggest Influence:  My immediate family members and close childhood friends were my biggest influence during my school days.  When times were tough, they constantly motivated me to realize my true potential and reminded me to persevere no matter what.  I can honestly say that I am where I am today because of them.
    • Why I Love My Job:  To be able to motivate students and families to reach their fullest potential is why I love this job so much.  Moreover, I am extremely fortunate to be working with over 100 passionate and dedicated GEAR UP 4 LA staff members.  I am truly blessed!
  • Wendy Bradley


    • College:
    • California State University at Dominguez Hills (CSUDH)
    • Master of Arts in Counseling
    • Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio
    • Master of Arts in Educational Administration
    • Hiram College, Hiram, Ohio
    • Bachelor of Science in Biology
    • Favorite Movie:  Antwone Fisher
    • Favorite Food:  Crab legs and shrimp scampi
    • My Biggest Influence:  My mother has always been my biggest cheerleader.
    • Why I Love My Job:   My purpose on earth is to help people.  I have always been an advocate for underserved, minority students.  I believe in equity for all.  Your zip code should not dictate your life trajectory.
  • Ana Chavez

    Community Representative

    • College:
    • Academia de Mecanografia Lee
    • -Typing Certificate
    • Colegio Liceo Rosales
    • -Bilingual Secretary Certificate
    • Favorite Movie:  Based on a True Story:  McFarland USA, Homeless to Harvard, Hidden Figures, The Best of Enemies, The Green Book
    • Favorite Food:  Italian Food
    • My Biggest Influence:  MY PARENTS…They taught me to be respectful, responsible, helpful, work hard, and treat others as you would like to be treated.
    • Why I Love My Job:  I like being involved in programs that promote academic success for all student and I truly enjoy supporting families with relevant information that can help make a difference in their lives and the lives of their children.
  • William Ruiz

    Academic Advisor

    • College:
    • California State University at Northridge (CSUN)
    • -Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Chicana/o Studies
    • Favorite Movie:  Good Will Hunting
    • Favorite Food:  Carne asada tacos
    • My Biggest Influence:  My biggest influences would have to be my parents and uncle.  At a young age, they taught me the value of hard work and being responsible.  In addition, I truly admire how much they have persevered in their lives.  All three of them left their home country to come to the United States in pursuit of a better life.
    • Why I Love My Job:  Working for GEAR UP 4 LA has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life.  I get to work with amazing students and staff who make coming to work enjoyable every day.  Lastly, having been a former GEAR UP student myself, I am a firm believer that #GEARUPworks.
  • Belen Benitez

    Academic Advisor

    • College:
    • University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES)
    • -Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Forensics
    • Favorite Movie:  Hocus Pocus
    • Favorite Food:  Spicy Shrimp Ceviche
    • My Biggest Influence:  My parents because they sacrificed their lives to build mine.  They mean the world to me!!
    • Why I Love My Job:  I get inspired when I see the glow in students’ faces as they realize that it is possible to achieve goals and continue succeeding in life.