Lafayette Parish School System’s “GearUp” program is holding it’s first residential academic camp. For 7 days and 6 nights, 72 local juniors and seniors will stay on the LSU Alexandria campus, to get a firsthand experience at attending classes and staying in the dorms.
Nick Sinanan, a GearUp participant, says, “They tell us about college, but we don’t know what it feels like. So that’s what they’re bringing us to this camp to do.”
Rachel Howard, another GearUp participant, says, “My parents were always like, “Go to college!”, but other parents who don’t really push that, it might give that student the encouragement to go.”
Parents I spoke to today say the GearUp program has convinced some of their children to continue on to college after graduating, and are thankful that the federally funded program gives their children these opportunities at no cost to their parents.
“The GEARUP program is a wonderful program. Every summer they get to go and experience different career paths. Different health experiences, fashion design, graphics, computer design. It’s a wonderful experience to help your child get their minds right and thinking about the college adventure”, says Patricia Thompson, a mother of one of the students attending the camp.
If you think your child would be interested in the GearUp program, there are some requirements before they are accepted. Students applying to the GearUp program must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher. They will also need a letter of recommendation from a teacher or faculty member. They must also be at least considering attending college after they graduate.
After attending classes in Science, Math, and ACT Prep (all lead by college professors), organizers say they’re hoping that once the students are back in class by the fall, they’ll pass on their knowledge to their fellow classmates.