Ten members of Eastern delegation celebrate 15th anniversary of GEAR UP in Washington, DC


WILBURTON, OK (Aug. 14, 2014) – A delegation of 10 GEAR UP team members recently represented Eastern Oklahoma State College at the Annual NCCEP/GEAR UP Conference in Washington, DC. The conference theme “A Dream Realized” reflected the accomplishments of the GEAR UP community, as well as the ongoing commitment of many dedicated professional and outstanding GEAR UP state and partnership grant programs across the country.

At the conference, a national convening of professionals, parents, students, policymakers, and community and business partners, supporting GEAR UP programs and the students they serve nationwide, attendees had the opportunity to reflect on how their work is contributing to the realization of students’ dreams of college access and completion.

The Eastern delegation attended a Directors/Staff Summit sponsored by Texas Instruments. Discussion and dialog focused on ways GEAR UP can help schools districts identify students who show an aptitude for STEM; create awareness and opportunities for students to explore and experience STEM courses of study and careers; and provide support for students to identify a college that fits aptitude in STEM fields.

They attended a pre–conference thoughtshop, “The Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI).” Each team member completed a 120–question HBDI assessment and received a comprehensive Profile Package containing his/her HBDI Profile results along with in–depth interpretation of the results, reference material about the Whole Brain Model, comparison data, and activities for further exploration and development.

Several members of the Eastern delegation were selected to present workshops at the 2014 conference. George Larson and Linda Morgan presented “The Power of Data Collection Is at Your Fingertips.” LaDonna Baldwin and Kamy Patterson presented “Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day—Neither Are Relationships.” Team members attended more than 35 workshops during the conference, including post–conference workshops (“Documenting the Match” and “Annual Performance Report”) presented by the U.S. Department of Education.

Plenary speakers included Nathan Monell, president and CEO of the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP); The Honorable Chaka Fattah, the author of GEAR UP; Dr. Ruby Payne, founder of aha! Process, and leading education author; Dr. John Jackson, president and CEO, the Schott Foundation for Public Education; and Loretta LaRoche, founder and president, The Humor Potential, Inc. and author of “Lighten Up!”

The highlight of the conference was the presentation by the NCCEP Youth Leadership Congress participants. Students performed skits and talked about how GEAR UP has affected their lives.

The Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a federal initiative to increase the number of low–income students who enter and successfully transition into postsecondary education. Eastern will receive $12,625,000 over seven years to serve current ninth and tenth grade students throughout high school graduation and college admission.

Representing Eastern Oklahoma State College at the 2014 NCCEP/GEAR UP Annual Conference in Washington, DC were

Front Row: GEAR UP Education Coordinator Lori Douglas; GEAR UP Project Director Linda Morgan; GEAR UP Assistant Professional Development Coordinator Stacy Burmeier; GEAR UP Education Coordinator Rachael Ranallo.

Back Row: GEAR UP Education Coordinator Ron Sullivan; GEAR UP Education Coordinator Melissa Juarez; GEAR UP Professional Development Coordinator Debbie Walters; GEAR UP Education Coordinator Kamy Patterson; GEAR UP Web/Computer Tech Specialist George Larson; and GEAR UP Education Coordinator LaDonna Baldwin.

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