CLEARFIELD — Helping students realize their potential for college, even if they face economic challenges, is the focus of GEAR UP and its student leaders, including Jesus Garcia.
After a year as president of Clearfield High’s club, Garcia will be heading to Washington, D.C. to participate in the organization’s leadership academy. He is one of only 35 from across the country selected to participate.
“College is so important,” said Garcia, who plans to attend Weber State University.
“I want kids, students to know they can go to college,” he said, as quoted in a press release. “There are people here to help them figure out how. It doesn’t have to be just a dream.”
GEAR UP, which stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, provides academic support and advising, campus visits, family and parent engagement, credit recovery, tutoring, standardized test preparation and scholarship application assistance, according to the release.
It was established specifically to benefit low-income students and help them successfully graduate and enroll in post-secondary institutions.
Garcia’s responsibilities includespeaking to classes and youth groups, helping at registration and sharing the college access message with web stories, audio and video recordsings, print materials and blogs.
“I just love GEAR UP and wanted to become someone who made a difference to students like me,” said Garcia. “I feel responsible and like I really want to do a good job.”