DMPS Celebrates National GEAR UP Day

Over 475 North High School students will celebrate National GEAR UP Day with a college-going pep-rally that features Courtney Maxwell Greene of the Department of Public Safety. The National GEAR UP Day celebration will be held:
Thursday, Sept. 30
1:30 p.m. to 2:35 p.m.
North High School Auditorium
501 Holcomb Ave.
The event will celebrate the two GEAR UP programs providing services to North High School students: GEAR UP Des Moines and GEAR UP Iowa. Matt Smith, North High School principal, will kick-off the celebration with a presentation about starting a college-going culture at North High School. Maxwell Greene, a Des Moines native, will talk about the importance of college and/or training programs after high school and taking advantage of opportunities provided by GEAR UP. A representative from the Governor’s office will read a proclamation for National GEAR UP Day and the North High School cheerleaders will close out the celebration with a pep-rally cheer-off.

“This celebration is a great way to recognize the work being done by GEAR UP and North High School to help students be successful in school and in life,” said Nancy Wright, coordinator for the GEAR UP Des Moines program. “So many students don’t see college as an option and this celebration will help remind them of the resources GEAR UP has available and that college is possible.”

GEAR UP, or Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, is a national initiative to significantly increase the number of students who are prepared to succeed in postsecondary education. The GEAR UP Des Moines cohort includes 1,425 eleventh graders and 150 tenth graders in the five comprehensive DMPS high schools and Scavo Alternative High School. GEAR UP Des Moines is administered by Des Moines Public Schools and is a partnership grant with the U.S. Department of Education.

The GEAR UP Iowa cohort includes approximately 6,000 high school students and their families in 18 communities across Iowa. Iowa College Aid is the administrator of the GEAR UP Iowa Grant, a multi-year state-wide grant which is being utilized to provide early awareness programming and outreach initiatives to thousands of Iowa’s students and families.