Washington State University GEAR UP

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School is out and summer vacation is here! With the temperature rising, GEAR UP staff has been keeping cool and has given Prosser HS a lending hand for their summer school program called Red Comet. This program is set up for students to retrieve any missing credits they had missed in previous years. Summer school hours run from 7:30 am to about noon Monday through Friday. Breakfast is provided by the school district and is available outside the classroom.

Red Comet works similar to the former credit retrieval PHS had, APEX. However, APEX was a lot more lenient than Red Comet, and allows teachers or observers (GEAR UP staff) to view the students’ progress on the course they are currently taking. Students are required to complete at least 9 hours per week, and check in with GEAR UP staff 3 days out of the week. So far we have heard great feedback from the students. One student stated, “This is so much better than APEX. It is simpler.” IF the program continues to be successful, PHS is considering extending this program year round. Right now we have about 60 or more cohort students who are enrolled in this program.

On June 20- 23, Mrs. Wilson took 10 students to the Columbia Basin College Preparing for College Success Camp. Here the students were able to identify the benefits of attending a community college rather than a 4 year university, develop public speaking skills, and interact with students from Ki-Be, Finley, Kennewick, and other schools. During the camp, we tour CBC, and came across the Planetarium, and the mini theatre they have on campus. Most of the students were fascinated by the small lecture of the solar system and the different stars. They watched a short video about Black Holes, which went into depth about what they are and how they work.

On the last day of the CBC camp, the students had to develop a poster that answered all the prompt questions that was in their packet. They were able to work on this poster the last day of the camp, and had to present their final piece at the parent night, later that afternoon.  Some of the students were freaking out, thinking they had to present their poster in front of everyone at the parent night. However the students only had to present to their parents, and walk around to see other students’ work. Pizza, cake, and drinks were provided by CBC. Overall the students enjoyed the camp, and were very fortune to receive two college credits from CBC. Most of the students that attended this camp were running start students who attend CBC.

Giving back to the community is a major role in this small town of Prosser. Most students during their summer vacation, work so they can buy school supplies for the following school year. However we have two PHS students, who have been volunteering at the Keene-Riverview with summer school. Brenda and Paola Ixta are sisters, who find joy in giving back to their community. Every morning starting June 20- July 8th, they have volunteered their time to help teachers at the Keene-Riverview with summer school. They work with kinder through 5th grade.

Even though school is out, GEAR UP is still working hard to expose students to continue their education after high school. We have a couple events that will do just that. First off we will be heading out to Washington Business Week, July 10th through the 16th.  A few weeks after that we will be traveling to Seattle from August 9th-12th, to visit a variety of colleges and universities in the Seattle area.



State Financial Aid for DREAMers

A new state law has expanded eligibility for the Washington State Need Grant to low income, non-citizen students who meet the program's eligibility requirements and also satisfy the residency criteria. Washington State joined California, New Mexico, and Texas in enacting its own version of the Dream Act which extends state grants to undocumented students.

Visit realhopewa.org for more information.
The free Washington Application for State Financial Aid, or WASFA.

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