William Jefferson Clinton Middle School


Welcome to the GEARUP Office at William Jefferson Clinton Middle School. We serve the class of 2024 and 2025. We offer an array of services including parent/student workshops, field trips, counseling, tutoring, peer mentoring, and academic advising. With the services we provide, we are preparing our students for college and beyond. The GEARUP4LA office is located in room A116 on the first floor.  Our staff is here to support students and parents from 7:30-4:00, Monday through Friday. Our doors, arms, and hearts are always open, so come on in!

Our Mission Statement:

Guided by compassion and commitment to our communities, the GEARUP team collaborates with students, staff, and parents to build a pathway towards life-long success by inspiring, empowering, and creating confident leaders.

Our Vision Statement:

Every GEAR UP student will have the opportunity to choose a post-secondary path and feel supported. They will feel empowered to pursue and commit to their dreams. With the support of GEAR UP staff, parents and the school community, we want to ensure the lifelong success of our students as they achieve self-efficacy and self-advocacy.

Our Staff

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

  • Maria Goryan Magdesyan

    Site Coordinator

    • College: CSULA
    • Favorite Movie: My Fat Greek Wedding
    • Favorite Food: Anything Chocolate
    • My biggest influence: When I was a senior in High School, many caring teachers guided me in the right direction, but one teacher in particular went above and beyond to make sure that I continue my education after high school. Ms. Schwartz, my ESL 1 teacher was always there for me, and she assured me that I can dream big, and be able to achieve all my goals despite my family’s financial status. I am forever grateful to Ms. Schwartz for being my guardian angel.
    • Why I love my job: This job gives me the opportunity to give back to the students. Changing students’ lives gives me motivation to do better. I love working with so many students for an extended period of time.
  • Rachel Nguyen

    Rachel Nguyen


    • College: California State University Long Beach
    • Favorite Movies: Forrest Gump
    • Favorite Foods: Italian food, Vietnamese crepes, and desserts
    • My Biggest Influence: My husband is my biggest influence. He makes me a better person by knowing him. He is generous, thinks the best of people and enjoys life.
    • Why I Love My Job: It is a joy and privilege to come to work everyday and be a part of a community of students, families and staff. I am grateful to be interacting and making a positive impact on our students. I learn as much from them as they do from me.
    • Favorite Quote:  Knowledge puffs up while love builds up. 1Corinthians 8:1
  • Veronica Salas

    Veronica Salas

    Community Representative

    • Favorite Movie: Bird Box
    • Favorite Food: Pizza
    • My biggest influence: My family is my biggest influence, they are my support system.
    • Why I love my  job: I love my job because it gives me the opportunity to work with students and families. It gives me motivation to be a better person.
  • Eric Gray

    Eric Gray

    Academic Advisor

    • College: Berea College, Bachelor of Arts
    • Favorite Movie: Good Burger
    • Favorite Food: Peach Cobbler and Bibimbap
    • My Biggest Influence: My father because of his unwavering perseverance in stressful situations, and my close friend Ron, because he taught me to expect nothing less than success, and therefore, to normalize it.
    • Why I Love my Job: There is a concentrated effort in this world to keep some students from succeeding, and I am excited to empower students to work against those forces and triumph.
    • Favorite Quote: A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.
  • Rosangela Melendez

    Rosangela Melendez

    Academic Advisor

    • College: Colby College; Bachelor of Arts in Art, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
    • Favorite Movies: Lilo & Stitch, The Addams Family, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi
    • Favorite Foods: Japanese curry, tacos, pupusas, and chicken alfredo
    • My Biggest Influence: My family has been much of my motivation throughout my life; I have them to thank for the person I am today. I’m also thankful for the teachers in every stage of my life who have supported me and helped me grow.
    • Why I Love My Job: I love my job because it is an opportunity to give back and empower both students and families in my community. Sometimes, challenges along the path towards college can feel so overwhelming that higher education seems out of reach; but having a support system that provides knowledge and access to resources makes all the difference in making those goals feel tangible.
    • Favorite Quote: “You are you. Now, isn’t that pleasant?” – Dr. Seuss