It’s that time again! National GEAR UP Week took place Sept. 19th-23rd, and GEAR UP staff had a few planned activities for the 2017/18 cohort students at PHS. Our famous spin to win wheel, made an appearance during lunch as students had the chance to answer any question related to FAFSA, college application, SAT, grants, scholarships, and much more. If they answered a question close enough to the answer, they won a small prize. Other activities that were incorporated into this event were a writing contest, GEAR UP/ College bingo, and college logo shirt design. Seniors were also reminded that FAFSA opened up Oct.1st, and were given packets that walked students through the FAFSA application. That way, once Oct. 1st came around, students were able to apply for financial aid.

Moving on to Sept. 28th, GEAR UP held its first social of the school year. There wasn’t a big turn out as previous socials, but there was definitely new faces. Ms. Wilson coordinated this social to reach out to seniors and talked to them about the importance of scholarships and financial aid. She went on to explain GEAR UP’s objectives for this school year, which indicate that 85% of GEAR UP seniors need to complete the SAT, and 95% GEAR UP students need to complete the FAFSA. She explained how these goals will only help students to be successful in their college career. Ms. Wilson also handed out scholarship packets and FAFSA packets to those students who had not received one.

On Oct.3, Nanette Stark, PHS counselor, coordinated a FAFSA night, where seniors were able to apply for financial aid. Any senior who had questions about the application, or who weren’t sure how to fill it out, were able to attend and receive help from admissions counselor from WSU Tri-Cities, and Heritage University. There was also GEAR UP staff, Ms. Rivera and Ms. Wilson, who were assisting in any way they could. Some students had already filled out their FAFSA, but they were just curious on what the next step would be. Thanks to the help of WSU Tri-Cities and Heritage reps, along with GEAR UP/PHS staff, students at PHS were able to successfully apply for financial aid.

An upcoming event that GEAR UP staff have been working on is the Spokane National College Fair. Over 200 college/ universities from around the U.S will be attending this event! College reps will be able to answer any questions the students may have in regards to their school. GEAR UP will be taking 40 seniors to this event, along with PHS counselor Melanie Cushing. We are looking forward to this college fair, and meeting people from around the U.S.