GEAR UP Architect Speaks to Philadelphia Students

Congressman Fattah Welcomes GEAR UP Capacity Building Conference to City of Brotherly Love in 2015

May 02, 2013, 13:47 ET from Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah

WASHINGTON, May 2, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congressman Chaka Fattah, architect of Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) the nation's most successful early college awareness program, challenged local GEAR UP students to allow the program to be their gateway to success.

Fattah created and guided the $4 billion dollar program into law in 1998. GEAR UP provides college-readiness programs for low-income student and their families starting in the middle grades.  It provides tutoring, scholarship assistance, financial aid, campus tours and counseling on how to apply for admission. The program tracks entire classes of students for six years, from their middle school years through the first year of college.

Speaking to students at the Urban League Pennsylvania State GEAR UP event, Fattah told the gathering to stay the course, "A college education is the open the door to your future and the future of our great city.  GEAR UP will provide you the tools to be prepared and successful in college but your future is in your hands.  Your achievement will be determined by how hard you work and how much you want to succeed."

GEAR UP serves approximately 5,000 Philadelphia area students and is operating under a six year $22 million federal grant.

Fattah also announced today that the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP) will hold its annual GEAR UP capacity building workshop in Philadelphia in 2015.  The national conference draws over 1,300 attendees.  The GEAR UP workshop – planned in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education - is designed to provide professional development and practical guidance around issues and current topics that impact GEAR UP programs and college access.

"I am pleased to welcome to Philadelphia those who give so much of themselves to ensure that our young people have every conceivable advantage to be successful in college," said Fattah.  "I look forward to hosting GEAR UP team members as they develop new concepts and common strategies that will positively impact the valuable college access work in their local communities."

SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah