LAYTON — On Tuesday, 154 mother and father and secondary college students in Weber and Davis districts gathered on the Weber State College Davis Campus to take pleasure in a meal, watch pupil cultural performances and discover ways to prepare for faculty.
Brandon Flores, this system’s director, referred to as the room to order and reminded the scholars of the bigger significance of the occasion earlier than the performances started.
“There are all of those individuals round you which can be there to help you and carry you up,” Flores mentioned.
After the cultural performances, mother and father and college students break up into teams for break-out periods, with separate periods for fogeys, junior excessive college students and highschool college students. The mother or father session was supplied in each Spanish and English as a result of 40 % of taking part college students converse Spanish at dwelling with their households.
Dad and mom attended a session referred to as “teaming up together with your college students to assist domesticate their success” after which wrote letters to their youngsters.
The 2 highschool break-out periods had been “mapping out your future” and “cultivating success by time administration.” Within the session on cultivating their hearts, college students created a coronary heart with flower petals and realized about searching for out mentors.
The household night time is one in every of a number of occasions placed on by Weber State’s federally funded program GEAR UP, which stands for Gaining Early Consciousness & Readiness for Undergraduate Packages.
Weber State’s GEAR UP program is one in every of 4 applications in Utah funded as a part of a state grant. In an effort to take part in GEAR UP, college students should apply and be admitted. This system focuses on college students from minority teams, low-income college students and college students who can be the primary of their households to graduate from faculty.
Within the Weber State GEAR UP class of 2018, 100 % of scholars graduated from highschool, and 52 % went on to varsity, a better charge than Utah’s common of 45.three %, which is tracked by HigherEdInfo.org.
Previously, GEAR UP household nights had been attended solely by about 30 college students and fogeys. As a result of this system now reaches out by social media, newsletters, texts and even private telephone invites, attendance at household nights can strategy 200 individuals.
“After I strategy informing college students and households about occasions, I take what’s referred to as a Manny Pacquiao strategy,” mentioned Flores. “I’m an enormous boxing fan, I like Manny Pacquiao, and any time someone containers towards Manny Pacquiao, they are saying it’s so exhausting to field towards him, as a result of not like different boxers who come straight at you, he hits you from all types of various angles.”
College students can enter this system as early as seventh grade and as late as the autumn semester of their senior 12 months of highschool. This system additionally serves first-year faculty college students at Weber State, who obtain help from Emily Romo-Hendrix, this system’s first-year transition specialist.
As members in this system, college students have common faculty prep and monetary assist advising from a GEAR UP faculty entry advisor assigned to their faculty. School entry advisors are assisted by lead mentors and tutors, who’re present faculty college students, and lots of of them are alumni of the Weber State GEAR UP Program. It’s widespread for college kids test in with their advisors weekly.
Along with household nights, college students can even attend a school go to every semester, a junior excessive summer time day camp and the Multicultural Youth Convention at Weber State.
Rising juniors and seniors can take part in an ACT boot camp over the summer time, which prepares them for the ACT college-entrance examination. The three-day, in a single day boot camp occurs in July, and on the ultimate day of the boot camp, college students take the ACT examination at Weber State on the July check date.
This offers the scholars many alternatives to construct relationships with their friends.
“I like attending to know the completely different folks that joined GEAR UP as a result of I might have by no means thought that we come from the identical background or the identical historical past,” Marissa Delao, a senior in this system. “And I additionally like having somebody that I can go to to speak about it — that’ll clarify every thing and assist me by.”
Janette Velasco, at present and lead mentor and advisor at South Ogden Junior Excessive, is a mannequin of the objectives this system hopes to realize. She joined a GEAR UP program as a highschool junior at Roy Excessive and continued taking part all through her freshman 12 months at Weber State.
In 2018, Velasco began as a GEAR UP tutor, grew to become a lead mentor after which took on further advising duties at South Ogden Junior Excessive. When she graduates with a bachelor’s diploma in social work in December, she’s going to turn out to be a full-time advisor.
“I feel GEAR UP helped me essentially the most within the enrollment course of. I didn’t know the way to even begin making use of. They helped me apply for Weber State for concurrent enrollment, which I didn’t even find out about at the moment. I began taking faculty courses my senior 12 months,” Velasco mentioned. “You may say they held my hand the entire manner, and that’s why I’m right here.”
Weber State GEAR UP at present serves 468 college students from eight colleges in Weber and Davis districts as nicely 45 freshmen at Weber State.
Weber College District’s taking part colleges are Bonneville Excessive, South Ogden Junior Excessive and T.H. Bell Junior Excessive, with 230 college students throughout the three colleges.
Davis College District’s taking part colleges are Syracuse Excessive, Syracuse Junior Excessive, Northridge Excessive, North Layton Junior Excessive and Sundown Junior Excessive, with 238 college students throughout 5 colleges.
Ogden College District additionally has a district GEAR UP program in partnership with Weber State, although the district’s program isn’t a part of the state grant. In October 2018, the district acquired a GEAR UP grant for the third time, which is critical given how aggressive the grant choice course of is.
Ogden’s grant will serve the district’s total highschool class of 2024 — about 900 college students who’re at present seventh graders — by their commencement from highschool and their first 12 months of school if attending WSU. Earlier grants served the courses of 2014 and 2017.