Spring is here at Prosser High School. PHS kicked off spring by concluding student led conferences, which took place from March 31- April 1st and dove right into spring break. We had 340 cohort students attend their student led conference, which is the majority of cohort students. Just like previous years, GEAR UP staff was able to translate as well as promote upcoming events to cohort students. Students and parents were able to put a face with our GEAR UP staff, and are now aware of the different services GEAR UP has to offer.
GEAR UP staff has been working hard and diligently on a summer camp called Washington Business Week. This summer camp is offered at Gonzaga University, where the students will be able to attend workshops sessions based on the type of camp they choose. These sessions will be a weeklong camp, which will take place in July 10-16th, 2016. Students had the opportunity to choose between Business or Healthcare workshops. At these workshops they will be able to experience a real-life setting of how to run a clinic or small business. There will also be professionals guest speakers, who will be able to give the students a few tips on how to be successful in their career choice.
Since a lot of time/money/ and effort were put into this event, GEAR UP staff had to be very selective on who would be able to attend. Staff decided to enforce for the students who were interested in attending this event. Those requirements were to write a short response on why they think they should be able to attend, a copy of their transcript, and a letter of recommendation. After reviewing the students’ letters and letter of recommendation, we selected 15 students to take to this event. These students are as follows; Maria Zaragoza, Edith Raya, Kenia Lugo, Karla Martinez, Juana Martinez, Froy Contreras, Kennia Martinez, Araceli Sandoval, Daisy Deleon, Jacqueline Frias, Pablo Vera, Cristyan Zepeda, Brenda Ixta, Enrique Acevedo, and Karina Caro. Congratulations to these students!
April 20th, GEAR UP held its monthly social, where the students are able to interact amongst each other and have a good time participating in the activities planned for them. These socials are usually once a month so the students are aware of GEAR UP services and where we are located in the school. There wasn’t a huge turn out as the previous socials, but there was definitely new faces. Mrs. Wilson informed the students of GEAR UP’s last social, which will be held May 25th. Since it’s nearing the end of the school year, we have been thinking of holding this last social outside which will be a splash!
Kiona Benton City High School invites college representatives to campus during lunchtime, but students were not taking advantage of that opportunity to engage with the representatives, so Ki-Be GEAR UP decided to try something new. In April, Ki-Be GEAR UP invited two college representatives to come to campus during regularly scheduled class time. On Wednesday, April 20 a Washington State University (WSU) representative, JR Gomez, presented to juniors on everything from why college to how to apply for WSU’s institutional scholarships. On Monday, April 25 an Eastern Washington University (EWU) representative, Angelica Lopez shared her personal college journey as well as how to become a student at EWU.
Attendees had to be passing classes and have teacher permission. The first two presentations had approximately 6 juniors in attendance and the GEAR UP staff is hoping to grow this number as students become more familiar with the idea of having college representatives on campus. Ki-Be’s next college representative presentation will be on May 11 with Central Washington University (CWU) and GEAR UP staff are hoping to have an even greater turn out.
GEAR UP helped sophomore students start spring break off with a bang by getting a taste of college life at Eastern Washington University! Thirty sophomore students along with 5 GEAR UP staff went to Eastern Washington University on March 31, 2016 to tour the college campus and see what Eastern had to offer. By using the Interest Survey results we were able to focus on the students who said they would be interested in Eastern as a college option. GEAR UP called in students to meet one on one to make sure that these students were not only still interested, but that they met the grade and GPA requirements GEAR UP holds for field trip oppurtunities.
We met bright and early at 6:30 AM to make the two and a half hour trip to EWU’s campus. We quickly started our tour upon arriving! The students were able to see the Library where resources, such as student tutoring and study spaces, were provided. We were shown campus dorms and the recreation center where students could participate in a variety of activities from ice skating, to rock climbing, to checking out camping equipment for a weekend getaway! The tour also led us to the Pence Union Building, known by students as the PUB. The front of this building had a fresh fruit stand for students to encourage healthy snacking, as well as other eateries and the student bookstore. Student led campus events to bring students together for some fun could be found in the PUB’s media room!
After the tour we met with an admissions specialist to learn more about the admissions process. He shared the ins and outs of Eastern Washington and talked about tuition and affordability. He addressed the importance of the best fit for college and had our Southridge students fill out a worksheet that helped give them an idea of what they are looking for and hold as a priority in a college.
Before making our way back to Southridge, we had lunch at the PUB and doubled up on dessert! The students were able to see what the environment was like on campus and get questions answered about attending Eastern. Our students enjoyed the experience and the trip sparked an interest in many to visit other college campuses and find their best college fit!
GEAR UP’s staff have been working hand in hand with the PHS counselors, as our journey toward graduation for the class of 2017 gets nearer. GEAR UP’s graduation success specialist, Juanita Rivera, attended the running start workshop held on February 29th at the PHS library. Running start is a program that allows High school students to take college courses at YVCC, CBC, or WSU. Most students who attended this meeting were mostly sophomores who really feel that they are ready for college. A representative from CBC came down to give some information about the requirements for the running start program at CBC. We also had another rep from WSU Tri-Cities who gave the students information on its campus requirements.
Beau Gates, a National Guard recruiter, visited PHS for a small presentation that he had organized for the students about the National Guard. Mr. Gates was so kind to provide pizza, drinks, and door prizes. We had 3 students walk out with a whole pizza and a shirt from the National Guard. Students were able to interact and ask Mr. Gates any questions they had about the Guard. Overall we had 20 students who attended this informational meeting that took place on March 2nd.
Another exciting event that occurred was the Luck of the Irish social, which took place March 9th. Ambassador Officers along with some special guests such as Silvia from WSU, and Staff Sergeant, Mark Hutchinson, took the stage with great information/ activities for the students. Some activities included college categories, seat shuffle, and the popular game, electricity. The officers had a great time running these activities, and winning treat. The officers wanted to recognize a couple of students who have showed improvement in their academic courses and who have attended every GEAR UP social this year. The luck candidates for these awards were as follows; Pablo Vera, most improved in academics, and Lucy Alcaide-Campos- attended every GEAR UP social. The students were told whoever wore the
After months of planning and deliberating, GEAR UP took 14 students to visit Heritage University on March 30th. The students had the opportunity to explore the different career options Heritage has to offer. The students had fun playing the icebreakers the Heritage staff had organized for them. They were introduced to Heritages CAMP mentors, and visited the different buildings at Heritage. The students and staff were fascinated with the art work this university has. Students were also informed of the tuition and admission process and how financial aid comes into play. We had one student who was indecisive about what to do after High school, but after visiting Heritage she plans on attending that university.
This year was the twenty-sixth annual UW Math Day at the University of Washington campus in Seattle, WA. River View GEAR UP sent students two years ago who enjoyed the experience and inspired them to keep taking upper level math in high school. This year, River View partnered with Kiona-Benton HS and Columbia HS GEAR UP programs to make this a collaborative effort, outreaching to even more students participating in the grant.
Students signed up for their desired topics during a three session schedule. Concurrent session examples from the day were: how to slice a pizza like a mathematician, RSA encryption, to inifinity, and beyond, autocorrect fail? These are some of the most attended session choices by River View students. There were also special ticketed field trips to: the applied physics lab, planetarium, seismology lab, UW campus tour, and SAGE computer lab. Two engineering major students went to the SAGE computer lab, and two UW interested students went on the campus tour-great job taking advantage of those special ticketed field trips!
On Monday, March 21, a group of 35 students and 6 adults from the three schools set out on a marathon trip to the western side of the state. The group arrived at UW campus by 10am and were able to get into their first session choice almost on time. Students were able to explore campus for one hour during their lunch after session two, and all River View students met back at Meany Hall to hear from former River View student, and GEAR UP ambassador, Richard Parra. Richard is a freshman at UW, studying BioE. He answered questions about: dorm life, social experiences, selecting a major, support systems away from home, grades, how college differs from high school, and many other questions. Hearing from alumni of River View is always a rich and inspiring experience for current high school students.
A very special thank you to everyone who contributed toward making this experience great for Finley, Burbank, and KiBe students: Sarah Garza, Erika Martinez, Sandra Mondragon, Donna Conley, Sherri Nielsen-Hazard, Florinda Carrasco, Alyse Pivovarnik, Carin Waters, and the teaching and administration staff at all three schools!