Utica GEAR UP, a federally funded program for early college awareness and readiness based at Mohawk Valley Community College, has nominated Jeremy Butler, Director of Programs for Utica Safe School Healthy Students, for the GEAR UP Community Partner of the Year Award.
GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) serves more than 700 students in the Utica School District, providing critical early college awareness and support activities, including tutoring, mentoring, academic preparation, and financial education.
At Utica Safe School Healthy Students, Butler and his team work to support the social and emotional well-being of GEAR UP students, keeping them in school by reducing barriers to learning. They help to combat bullying, monitor unexcused absences and truancy at Thomas R. Proctor High School, and engage students who might be reluctant to seek out GEAR UP services.
“Jeremy Butler was nominated because he is fueled by challenge,” says Utica GEAR UP Coordinator Linda Tettamant. “Great kids come in all varieties and, given the right nurturing and encouragement, all kids can be great kids. The road to greatness, however, is often a rough one and it is our job to help kids find their own greatness despite the potholes and pitfalls they encounter.”
Butler will be traveling with Utica GEAR UP to the organization’s national conference in Washington, D.C., where he and Tettamant will present a seminar titled “The Rough Road to Greatness. The presentation will illustrate some of the techniques used by Utica GEAR UP and its partner, Utica Safe Schools Healthy Students.