Students Explore Summer Enrichment

Nearly 1,500 rising ninth and 10th-grade GEAR UP 4 LA students spent their summer engaging in a variety of enrichment opportunities, including storytelling and writing, career exploration, math and robotics, and learning tips for high school success.

Over the course of GU4LA’s virtual summer programs – which included several one-week Summer Bridge classes, a five-week Jaime Escalante Math (JEM) program and a five-week college course in logistics – students participated in 34,598 hours of GU4LA services.

“This was an experience to remember for our students!” said GU4LA Counselor Aide Sheyla Perez, who helped support the Cal State L.A. STEAM camp in which students explored entrepreneurship and website coding. “The students expressed their excitement by coming back every day. Seeing indefinite lines of coding turn into pictures and phrases was such an amazing win for them!”

In partnership with GU4LA schools, additional partners that supported Summer Bridge, which took place from June 14 to Aug. 13, included The PLUS ME Project, Study Smart Tutors (SST), Texas Instruments, and Los Angeles City College.

“I learned how to manage my time and how to turn a negative into a positive,” one GU4LA student said of SST’s “Transition to High School,” during which incoming freshmen learned time management, study skills, and growth mindset. “It helped me open my eyes to things that I didn’t do before that can really help me with high school and college.”

During SST’s “Gladeo Career Development,” students explored career interests, and in Texas Instruments’ Camp, students programmed a robotic vehicle. Cal State L.A. also held a writing camp.

LACC held several career exploration classes: students learned basic American Sign Language, how to manage money and budgeting in financial literacy, learned engineering skills in robotics, created short films in cinema (see their films here), learned about various health care careers in health, and art.

“Robotics is really fun, and I wanted to take the class because it’s a great way to create new things with different electronics,” said a student who took the robotics course.

“I didn’t want to waste my time over the summer, and I’m really interested in business, so I enjoyed every part of class, even the homework. I didn’t find it as something I had to do. It was something I wanted to do.”

GU4LA Freshman, Logistics Class

Students were also empowered to explore their stories and voice during PLUS ME’s series.

“It has been a difficult year for all of us, but it’s important to share all of this wisdom,” facilitator Valeria Sanchez said. “This is how we connect with each other and learn about each other’s experiences.”

In addition to hosting Summer Bridge classes, GU4LA partnered with East Los Angeles College to help students get a jumpstart in mathematics through the JEM enrichment program and explore potential careers in the goods movement industry through a logistics course. 

“I didn’t want to waste my time over the summer, and I’m really interested in business, so I enjoyed every part of class, even the homework,” said a rising GU4LA freshman of the logistics course. “I didn’t find it as something I had to do. It was something I wanted to do.”