GEAR UP is a national initiative to encourage more young people to have high expectations, stay in school, study hard and take the right courses to go to college. It serves low-income priority students around the country, working with the same students from 7th grade until they graduate from high school and begin college. Students who complete the program can be eligbile for a scholarship covering up to 4 years of college.
Over the past 12 years, GEAR UP Massachusetts has helped more than 10,000 students chart a path toward high school graduation and college success. Students who participated in GEAR UP from 2005-2011 achieved gains in standardized test scores, while comparisons with non-GEAR UP students showed that participants were much more likely to take the SAT, complete financial aid forms, and enroll in college.
ASA leads the implementation of GEAR UP activities for 7th and 8th grade students at Mario Umana Academy and 9th - 12th graders at East Boston High School. All 7th and 8th grade students at Mario Umana Academy are automatically enrolled in the program, while students who join at the high school level must qualify for free or reduced lunch to enroll.
We help students and families improve academic achievement and performance, complete high school, and enroll in college or other training programs.
Our middle school students explore different academic and career paths, develop study skills, and prepare for high school success. In high school, we focus on career paths, financial education, and the process of applying to and paying for post-high school study. We help our students develop the skills and knowledge they need to find success, whether it’s at a 2 or 4-year school, a technical or career training program, or anything else they choose.
Ms. Ajayi earned her Bachelors of Science from University of Massachusetts Amherst and her M.Ed. from Lesley University in Instruction & Curriculum and Leadership. In high school, she participated in both the GEAR UP and TRIO Upward Bound programs, which helped her become the first person in her family to earn both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.
Ms. Palmieri holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rhode Island in Political Science, with a double minor in African American Studies and Women’sStudies. She is currently finishing her master’s degree in Education Administration at Providence College, and plans to complete her M.Ed. in May 2017.
Mr. Senter holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and African American Studies from Lake Forest College, located 40 miles North of Chicago, IL. This past May, he received his Masters of Science Degree from Wheelock College in Organizational Leadership and acquired a Certification in Human Management. He served in AmeriCorps at College Bound St. Louis, and in college served as president of the United Black Association.