A GEAR In Review 2014

The year of 2014 was full of opportunities and learning experiences for the whole GEAR UP Family, so we wanted to share a quick review of the most memorable workshops, events, and trips throughout the year!

The GEAR UP Staff would like to extend a special “Thank You!” to all of the students, parents/guardians, families, and educators who were able to attend our workshops in the spring and fall of 2014 – you made it possible to have such a successful year! We had a large number of participants, which makes it a great turnout! The GEAR UP Program is much stronger and more effective when we have many people working toward a common goal… to assist our students and support their education!! Thank you!!


Saturday Workshops – Spring 2014

Our workshops in 2014 covered a wide range of topics, field trips, and educational experiences. In January, we held a workshop that covered Artistic Expression, Applications of Art in Learning, and Related Approaches to Education, at which we introduced the GEAR UP Art Contest and information about the much anticipated Washington, D.C. Trip (Summer 2014). In February, we went to the Annual Pow-Wow of Love presentation, which was put on by the MSU North American Indigenous Student Organization (NAISO). In March, we had two very successful workshops. The first workshop covered Women’s History Month & National Reading Month, at which students had the opportunity to participate in a book fair and take a book home for free! During the second workshop in March, GEAR UP had the opportunity to collaborate with STEM Genius, at which student participants were able to learn and apply engineering skills in order to construct large Ferris Wheels out of Kinects. We have provided a picture below of one of the Ferris Wheels built by our students! In April, students had the opportunity to participate in a field trip to Detroit, MI, where they toured the Second Baptist Church and Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, and learned about African American History and the Underground Railroad.













T-Shirt Design Art Contest

Our program is designed to help students become advocates for their own success – part of that means providing them with opportunities to express their strengths and talents as individuals! It was our hope, through this contest, that students would find time to let their talents shine! The GEAR UP Program Staff were so pleased with the designs entered in the contest, we took the opportunity to showcase them in a slide show presentation, which can be viewed by clicking on the video below.

MI GEAR UP Art Contest Spring 2014


MI GEAR UP Washington, D.C. Trip

2014-06-25_knb_0334The purpose of our Washington DC trip was to expose students to educational opportunities outside the state of Michigan. The opportunity to attend a university outside of Michigan may seem unattainable for some of our students, but we learned during our trip that it is very much in their grasp… if they want it. We were also able to visit historical museums and monuments Washington, D.C. has to offer. It’s so rich in history and sometimes we take that for granted. Overall, the trip was a success! Even though we were all tired, the students hung in there, and we believe they have many wonderful memories to look back on.

Click Here to visit our GEAR UP MSU Facebook Page and view more pictures from the Washington, D.C. Trip!


GUSLA Trip to Kalahari

The GEAR UP Student Leadership Academy (GUSLA) was first established in the summer 2014. The program is made up of a small, but rapidly growing, group of highly motivated students who already participate in the GEAR UP Program and who have a high record of attendance. In early August 2014, twenty-six GUSLA students had an opportunity to participate in a leadership retreat at the Kalahari Resorts & Conventions in Sandusky, Ohio, where they went through a series of workshops to train them in communication skills, public speaking, conflict resolution, social media, and essential leadership skills. The workshop series utilized curriculum from The 7 Habits of Highly Motivated Teens by Sean Covey. If you are interested in learning about some of these healthy motivation habits, please visit the Sean Covey Website, which is dedicated to helping teens put his philosophy into practice.


Click Here to visit our GEAR UP MSU Facebook Page and view more pictures from the GUSLA Trip to Kalahari!


National GEAR UP Week: Balloon Release at the Capitol

GEAR UP Week is celebrated every year in September by many GEAR UP programs in the nation. This year, we decided to have a program at our State’s Capitol and recognize our students and parents, as well as some administrators and officials who help make the program a success. We concluded with a very symbolic 100 green and white balloon release from the front steps. This was to symbolize the potential we believe EVERY one of our students has to be a success in this world.

balloon launch 2


Holiday Banquet Luncheon at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center

8Every December, for the past three years, MI GEAR UP at MSU has hosted a Holiday Banquet Luncheon for the student participants, parents/guardians, educators, and staff. It takes place at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center. We originally started this new tradition because Brody Café was not available three years ago. Now, it appears to be something our students and families look forward to every year! The students learned about etiquette the first year (2012), did arts and crafts last year (2013), and heard from a speaker/performer this year (2014). Mr. Rodney Page brought the house down with his motivational words on making good decisions, knowing who your friends are, and knowing your career opportunities; and, most importantly, he emphasized “Thinking outside the box!” What was most unique about his presentation is how he delivered his message through speaking, as well as music from his DJ equipment and his violin. He played the violin, while we listened to a portion of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a Dream” speech, and the room was silent. He is extremely gifted and we are happy we were able to bring Mr. Page to our students!