ATHENS, WV (WVNS)– GEAR UP Southern West Virginia had a meeting to discuss strategies to help students for next year.

GEAR UP Southern West Virginia is a program designed to help young students pursue their future and continue their education. The goal – get students to graduate high school- and then go to college.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023, members came together with the Regional Advisory Council in Concord University’s Jean & Jerry Beasley Student Center to discuss the best ways to make that happen.

“GEAR UP Southern West Virginia is a program working specifically with our cohort of students, who started in 6th and 7th grade last year, and We’re following those students all the way through into their first year of post secondary. And we do anything and everything we possibly can to get them there.”

Kristen O’Sullivan, Director of GEAR UP Southern West Virginia

Some of the students who participated in GEAR UP over the summer say they find the program helped them focus on what they needed to do to be successful when it comes to their education. From providing academic and cultural enrichment to students to assisting parents on college options and financial aid, GEAR UP strives to set students up for success.

“We had went to a summer camp for four days. We had went swimming, kayaking, rock climbing, caving. It was the best thing I’ve really ever done; I liked it a lot.”

Memphis Hunt, GEAR UP Student

As the summer wraps up, plans are being made for next year’s game plan to help students graduate high school and pursue their future.