Frequently Asked Questions
What is GEAR UP?
GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program) is a bipartisan federal initiative that provides colleges access and support services to low-income, first generation students. GEAR UP supports students from the time they are in the middle school through the end of high school. Nationally, there are over 150 GEAR UP program serving over 500,000 students.
Why start in Los Angeles?
GEAR UP 4 LA has served 5 cohorts and over 20,000 students in the greater Los Angeles area. The founders of the GEAR UP Alumni Association are GEAR UP 4 LA alumni and employees who recognize that students need support beyond grant funding to be successful in post-secondary education. By ensuring students graduate with a college degree, we can directly support the efforts to bring equity to historically-underserved and underrepresented communities.
If the federal government has already invested in these students, why do they need more support?
Our organization works to maximize the investment that the GEAR UP grant funding makes in under-resourced students to not just help them get into college, but take them to the finish line of obtaining a college degree and becoming much more valuable to the workforce as a college graduate. By ensuring students graduate with a college degree, we can directly augment other efforts to bring equity and generational wealth to GEAR UP students and alumni.
Why should I support the GEAR UP Alumni Association?
To this day there is no organization that supports GEAR UP students once they get to college and embark on their careers. Founding donors will be influential in building a nonprofit entity that will have the infrastructure to support students at the collegiate, high school, and middle school levels by offering mentorship, scholarship, and career development opportunities for the thousands of current and former GEAR UP students.
What does my donation go towards?
Your donation makes you part of an exciting opportunity to help provide a platform for college students and graduates from low-income areas to give back to their communities. Your gift will support the establishment of a Mentorship Pipeline to serve students across all levels of education and career development, as well as contribute to a Scholarship Fund to directly address the financial obstacles that low-income, first-generation student disproportionately face during their transition to college and throughout their time at a higher education institution.
Is the GEAR UP Alumni Association just for GEAR UP alumni in Los Angeles?
As of now, we are incubating our service models in the GEAR UP community with which we are most familiar, however soon we aim to expand outside of Los Angeles. Our goal is that this organization will eventually be able to support hundreds of throusands of GEAR UP alumni nationwide once our services are proven to support student and alumni success.