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GEAR UP Wyoming Program at UW Receives $3.6 Million Grant for State Students


September 29, 2011 — GEAR UP Wyoming (GUWY), a program based at the University of Wyoming, has received a seven-year grant worth nearly $3.6 million that will provide support to low-income 7th-12th grade Wyoming students through high school graduation and their first year of college. An additional $3.6 million will be provided annually by in-kind and scholarship contributions for a total of almost $7.1 million.

GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. Students can enter the program any time starting in seventh grade. The program will serve a minimum of 2,000 students statewide each project year and will continue to assist them through their first year of college.

UW is the lead agency and will partner with all seven Wyoming community colleges and the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE).

"Our partners' continued willingness to collaborate with GUWY demonstrates their strong history of commitment and ongoing support. All have submitted letters of commitment for this next grant cycle," says Judy Trujillo, grant manager at UW.

GEAR UP Wyoming uses a state priority-student model to serve students who qualify for free and reduced-price lunch. Student and parent services will be provided by GUWY staff located at each Wyoming community college.

Approximately 101 of Wyoming's 154 secondary schools are participating in the program -- 23 are designated by the U.S. Department of Education as the persistently lowest-achieving schools. GUWY's partnership with the WDE will focus on statewide initiatives, including the Wyoming Comprehensive Literacy Plan, college and career-readiness benchmarks, and professional development for teachers, administrators, instructional facilitators and summer school staff.

"Wyoming students who are eligible for the free or reduced-price lunches consistently score lower on the Proficiency Assessment for Wyoming Students (PAWS) and the ACT, and they have lower high school graduation and college enrollment rates compared to students from higher income families," Trujillo says. "GEAR UP Wyoming will provide direct educational and college preparation services to eligible students to increase their academic performance and improve their opportunities for high school and college success."

Mandatory services provided by the program include providing financial aid information, encouraging enrollment in rigorous and challenging curricula, and providing comprehensive mentoring, outreach and support services that improve the number of participants who obtain college diplomas. Participants will receive information and advising about the Wyoming Hathaway Success Curriculum and Scholarship Program.  First-year college students will be provided peer mentoring, tutoring and academic, financial and major/career advising.

For more information, call Trujillo at (307) 766-6733 or email Jtrujil7@uwyo.edu.

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