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About Gear Up Birmingham


GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is a competitive grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) to high-risk communities to develop comprehensive, research-driven programs to prepare low-income, minority and first-generation students for higher education. GEAR UP students receive tutoring, mentoring, enhanced advisement from counselors, summer academic enrichment and financial education to learn how to pay for college. GEAR UP programs change students' lives by building a college-going culture in schools. In September of 2014, the Birmingham City School System was awarded a $19.6 million GEAR UP grant from the USDE. 

Summer Camp Testimonials

“Birmingham City Schools has put forth a great deal of effort to ensure that our students have the resources to be both college and career ready. Our Career Academies have given us great momentum toward this goal in the high schools, and this grant gives us an opportunity to strengthen those efforts at the middle school level.”

Dr. Spencer Horn,  Birmingham City Schools, Director of Academic and Strategic Initiatives

Latest News

  • Birmingham City Schools' 8th and 9th Graders Celebrate National GEAR UP Week
  • Birmingham City Schools’ 8th and 9th graders are celebrating National GEAR UP Week. One of the national goals of GEAR UP is to reach one million students through the GEAR UP program. This week GEAR UP Birmingham is focused on academic and dream building, and kicked off the week with guest speaker, Retired Senior Vice President of Ethics and Corporate Concerns at Alabama Power, Robert Holmes at Jackson-Olin High School and Green Acres Middle School.

    “We are excited about the many activities we have prepared for our students. Our mission is to provide students and families the support and resources they need for college success,” said Dr. Donna Turner, Project Director, GEAR UP Birmingham.

    Planned events for the week include:

    • Dream Big Day:
      On September 20, students will create a poster about their dream job post college graduation.

    • Balloon Release:
      On September 21, students will write their dream career or college on balloons and release them with their classmates. This symbolizes how GEAR UP Birmingham helps students reach their dreams and aspirations.

    • College Bound Day:
      On September 22, students will wear college t-shirts of their school of choice on this day. Also, they will research facts about that school including the needed ACT score to be accepted, school population, majors and minors offered by the college, etc.

    • Dress for Success Day:
      On September 20, students will dress in professional attire and participate in mock job interviews.

    • GEAR UP Parent Reception:
      On Friday, September 23, parents of the GEAR UP Birmingham cohort will attend a reception from 11a.m. to 3p.m. at the Board of Education to learn more about the resources available to them.

    About GEAR UP Birmingham

    GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is a competitive grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) to high-risk communities to develop comprehensive,research-driven programs to prepare low-income, minority and first-generation students for higher education. GEAR UP programs change students' lives by building a college-going culture in schools. In September of 2014, the Birmingham City School System (BCS) was awarded a $19.6 million GEAR UP grant from the USDE.

  • Pre-AP Writing Camp Provides 8 th Graders with Judicial Experience

Featured Events

  • College and Career Fair
  • GEAR UP Birmingham will host The Great Exploration — a college and career fair for Birmingham City School's eighth grade students held on May 11, 2016, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Historic Boutwell Auditorium. Approximately 1,500 students will explore various colleges and careers to expose students to different professional paths.

  • Money Math Club
  • Regions Institute for Financial Literacy Presents: Money Math Club

    The focus of the club will be to teach students how to apply their math skills to saving and investing through a real money investment opportunity. The clubs will meet weekly through March 2016. Students will have instruction on economics, market segments and portfolio management. Students will learn how to perform stock research and how to make buy/sell decisions. Below are the resources you will need to participate in the club. Happy investing!

     

    Money Math Club Stock Analysis Worksheet

    Money Math Club Stock List

    Money Math Club Doc

“On behalf of the Alabama Community College System (ACCS), I would like to congratulate you and the Birmingham City School System (BCS) on being a recipient of the 2014 Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness of Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) grant”

Dr. Mark Heinrich,  Chancellor, Alabama Community College System

Read Dr. Heinrich's Full Letter

“Gear Up Birmingham is providing hands on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) experiences that that are normally seen only at elite schools. These experiences will help our students successfully compete for great positions at top STEM university programs and in 21st century STEM careers.”

Dr. Michael Wyss, Professor, Director, Center for Community OutReach Development, University of Alabama Birmingham

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