Twenty-one students, chaperones, and GEAR UP team members recently attended the 2022 NCCEP/GEAR UP Annual Conference in Washington, DC. The group spent four days touring Temple University and Columbia University, as well as historical sites in New Jersey, Philadelphia, New York City, and Washington, DC. As the conference activities began, the five students—Beau Flanagan, Poteau; Katie Hollingsworth, Clayton; Sara Skelton, Panama; Alyssa West, Coalgate; and ZaCaaron Williams, McAlester—attended the first session of the Youth Leadership Summit (YLS), chaperones—Angel Barbie; Angela Hollingsworth; Susan Skelton; Anne West; and Michelle Williams—attended a “Chaperone Orientation”. The opening session of the conference began with NCCEP President and CEO Alex Chough welcoming more than 2,000 GEAR UP professionals from around the nation. Following the opening session, the five student members returned to the YLS, a program providing a high–quality, national-level interactive training experience and peer–to–peer learning opportunity for 9th–12th grade high school students who are currently participating in GEAR UP programs. Chaperones for the YLS students attended the Parent Leadership Institute (PLI). The PLI was designed to cultivate a group of parents and family leaders with a greater capacity to promote positive change in their children, school and community, and to move forward an agenda that centers on making college possible for all students. Over the next three days, members of the GEAR UP team chose from different workshop sessions designed to help practitioners to navigate what’s next. Multiple GEAR UP team members were chosen to present at the Annual Conference. They presented information from Parent Engagement, STEM Camp, and Making Learning Fun, to the collaboration between GEAR UP and Texas Instruments. The highlight of the conference was the presentation by the NCCEP Youth Leadership Summit participants. Tears and laughter filled the room as students talked about how GEAR UP has affected their lives. Eastern received a $17 million federal GEAR UP grant in 2017 and will serve more than 3,000 students in 39 area schools for seven years.
Rattan Students Tour Aviation Sciences Institute
Recently Rattan 11th grade students visited the Aviation Sciences Institute at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Students met with current students Kenley Costin, Tatiana Beach, Kyle