The GU4LA Impact: Fall 2021

During the first full semester of in-person learning in the 2021-22 school year, GEAR UP 4 LA provided over 37,000 hours of support to nearly 14,000 ninth- and 10th-grade students across 43 schools, according to fall 2021 service engagement data.

As students returned to campus after over a year of remote learning, GU4LA staff – including coordinators, counselors, advisors, and family engagement staff – were able to connect with students in person and foster relationships with families.

Working with school communities and partners in the shared mission of supporting students on their path toward postsecondary success, GEAR UP was able to provide 37,623 hours of services to 88% of the classes of 2024 and 2025 – or 13,814 students and their families – in fall 2021.

“As a counselor at Rise, I have seen firsthand how this program has helped students shape and work toward their goals, all while allowing them to discover new things about themselves, their career interests, and their community,” said Iliana Dorantes, a counselor at Rise Kohyang High School. “This program and team not only put students first but also make sure they keep parents/caregivers and school stakeholders involved in the process.”

GEAR UP staff focused much of their time on providing students and families academic, college readiness, career planning, and social-emotional support via proactive counseling, one-on-one/small-group advising, and in-person and virtual workshops.

Workshops included topics on financial aid, high school graduation requirements, college and career readiness, transition to high school for ninth graders, and match and fit for 10th graders.

To boost leadership skills, GEAR UP hosted in-person Peer Mentor Summits, where students learned about college access and gained confidence in using their voice.

Students also explored interests via in-person career technical education college visits and dual enrollment courses offered by Los Angeles City College and Los Angeles Trade Technical College.

Hybrid Parent Summits and virtual workshops ensured families had the tools and strategies to support their students in high school and their postsecondary journeys. Workshop topics included financial aid, college entrance requirements, and goal setting.

Additionally, 950 students in institutions of higher education received nearly 1,200 hours of first-year services, including academic, college, social-emotional support, financial/career advising, and mentoring.

“GEAR UP really helped me academically,” said #GEARUPworks graduate Devina Harminto, a sophomore at UCLA. “We still get texts from GEAR UP and it’s been more than two years since I graduated high school, so we still keep in contact. I feel like we are a family. It’s great.”