MassEdCO’s GEAR UP Program

MassEdCO’s GEAR UP program recently hosted a career fair for North High Seniors. 23 local businesses, trades, and public service organizations participated in the event and spoke with over 225 NHS seniors. These speakers included the Worcester Police and Fire departments, Polar Beverages, QCC admissions, U.S Army, Navy and Marines, MA Army National Guard, YouthBuild, Worcester Emergency Communications (911,) Peterson School, and the City of Worcester Division of Youth Services. The career fair had 3 main objectives; the first was for local businesses to offer summer employment opportunities to students. The second was to introduce students to a wide variety of jobs that could offer on-the-job training and provide benefits with a healthy living wage. The third was to introduce students to jobs for which they could begin working and earning money immediately but would also help them pay for their college education. When asked about his opinion of the NHS GEAR UP College Fair one student replied, “I think this career fair is a really good opportunity for students to see what they want to do after high school and to find their true passion to have a successful life.”

The GEAR UP staff would like to express their gratitude to all of the organizations and NHS staff who gave their time to collaborate for this very successful event.

GEAR UP Worcester Student Highlight

Proud Moment: Rafael Muniz received this key to the city of Worcester for leadership and contributions to the community.

MA College Application Celebration (MCAC) Event at Central High School in Springfield

The event centers around students applying to college during the school day:

New Steps at New Bedford High School

Students working on their FAFSAs and Common Applications at New Bedford High School:

National GEAR UP Week:

Springfield Conservatory of the Arts

Students participated in a career exploration activity and then they wrote down what their dream was and the career they wanted which were put on these 2 walls for students to and staff to see.

GEAR UP Staff in Holyoke & Springfield

GEAR UP staff in Holyoke & Springfield worked hard on creating Senior packets for their students. The packets included information such as: A countdown to college calendar, How to build a college list, How to build a college resume, Common Application Essay prompts, Choosing a College and the FAFSA which were handed out during National GEAR UP Week.

GEAR UP Alumni

Note from an Alum (North High School, Worcester) to her GU Advisor Steve Winston

Hey Steve, it’s Abreyana, I just wanted to thank you for everything you did for me this year! If it wasn’t for gear up, especially you, I really don’t think I would have finished a college application or any scholarships. The gear up program was so amazing and north high is so lucky to have you guys there. You helped me through a lot this year at school and at the boys and girls club. I got in contact with the lady for my nipmuc scholarship and I finally did it... well not really me, my aunt did it but I won’t need to take out any students loans! This fall I’ll be attending umass Dartmouth for health and society. Hopefully I actually get to go to college because this pandemic is tiring now. I wish I could have had my last months in school so I can still come and bother you while my college stuff was already done. If I ever become like a billionaire doctor for Beyoncé or Michael Jordan I’ll make sure to find you. I wouldn’t have been able to do anything without you or gear up, especially because I’m the first person in my family to go to college and no one really knows about college stuff to help me. I personally knew nothing about college either so the help from gear up worked great for me. I hope your doing well! Again thank you for everything Steve! I appreciate you!

Featured Alumni: Abreyana


Featured Programs

Putnam GEAR UP students pose outside

Roger L. Putnam Vocational Technical Academy Springfield, MA

Working with 1,400 students in grades nine through twelve, Roger L. Putnam Vocational Technical Academy serves high school students in Springfield who are interested in an academic and vocational education. Its GEAR UP program serves 510 of these students, helping them pursue their dreams after high school.

Putnam's GEAR UP students have gone on to continue their education at two- and four-year colleges, private and public, and many have directly joined the work force.

Putnam GEAR UP was the first GEAR UP MA school to offer instant acceptances during their 2015 Massachusetts College Application Celebration (MCAC). Since then, Putnam has continued to expand this event and now not only offers instant acceptances but also offers on-the-spot scholarships from schools.


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