The Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) grant takes a unique cohort approach, following seventh grade students in the Utica City School District through their high school graduation. GEAR UP students will have the opportunity to connect with GEAR UP Specialists and engage in educational enrichment activities allow them to:

  • Make their journey to college a reality
  • Connect with mentors and discover more about themselves
  • Explore careers that inspire them to a better future by way of workshops, job shadowing, and internships
  • Focus on STEM  

For Students

Think of each grade as a bridge to the next:

  • The things you learned in middle school will help you prepare for high school.
  • High school helps you prepare for college.
  • College prepares you for life!

Actively engaging in GEAR UP will connect you with a mentor and result in you creating a personal plan. This will help guide you on your path through middle and high school. There are bound to be twists, turns, and detours along the way, but becoming involved with GEAR UP will keep you on track for the future career you choose.

Where can you connect with a GEAR UP Specialist?

Donovon Middle School (Room 176)

  • Mr. Delvin
  • Ms. Jess

John F. Kennedy Middle School (Room 139)

  • Ms. Steffani
  • Ms. Jess

On Facebook at UticaGearUP
On Instagram @UticaGEARUP

For Parents

A college education carves the way for a better education for your child. We can support you with becoming better prepared to give your children more options, more resources to pay for college, and more opportunity. Utica GEAR UP can give you the tools you need to motivate and inspire your child, and the information to help you and your child plan for college.

If you have any questions or want more information, you can contact the GEAR UP coordinator Salina Billins at 315-792-5930 or via email at sbillins@mvcc.edu.