July 21, 2014

GSU 2014 LA GEAR UP Wraps Up for the Summer

Summer Bridge Program Comes to a Close

Grambling, La. – Grambling State University’s 2014 LA GEAR UP Summer Bridge Program, “College Success Scholars – Bridges to Achievement” focused on various bridges or program components to expand and enhance students’ college and career readiness skills.  The bridges were designed to increase awareness and expectations of college while developing and enhancing knowledge and skills for academic achievement and career success.  This program has operated every year since its inception in 2005.

Previously, this program operated for two weeks, but with additional funding granted by the State of Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LA GEAR UP) in the amount of $410,050, the program continued for six weeks.  Dr. Loretta Walton Jaggers, Professor of Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, is the program director.

The program has two themes.  Bridges to Achievement is the academic theme that consisted of college courses (6 hours), focused tutoring/study hall workshop, academic support workshops and study skills/time management workshops. The second theme is the 3 R’s – Recreation, Relaxation, Rewards which consisted of recreational and sports activities, a movie night, a 4th of July barbeque, and field trips. Lead counselor and Grambling alum Khris Hobbs stated, “I LOVE THIS PROGRAM! I have seen the impact that it can and has made on our youth. We have the opportunity to work with and get to know some amazing students. The bond/connection that is formed goes deeper than the short time that they are with us. Here at Grambling, we make sure that we do all we can for our students.”

There were 25 students enrolled in the program this year.  Each student came from high schools that are members of the LA GEAR UP program. Students Anthonica Johnson and Jameshaulyn B. Fernandez both from Plaquemine, Louisiana, felt that the summer bridge program was “absolutely incredible and amazing.”  “I have grown so much over the past six weeks,” says Anthonica. “We were privileged with the opportunity to meet incredible people, receive free college credits and a head start in college,” states Fernandez. Both students felt that they met their goals and will encourage others to take part in the summer program.

Last Friday, the program came to a close with an “Excellence in Achievement Awards Dinner.” Students and counselors were presented with awards and acknowledgements from the program organizers. Some of the participants were able to showcase their talents as well. One of the attending students, JaBryson Jones from New Iberia, put it nicely, “By giving up the freedom in front of me, I was able to gain the success before me.” May these students have much success and a promising future!

NOTE: Photo attached: 2014 LA GEAR UP Summer Bridge Program Class

IMG-3588 – taken by Mr. Khris Hobbs

2014 GSU LA GEAR UP participants and counselors pose for a group photo in the student union.
2014 GSU LA GEAR UP participants and counselors pose for a group photo in the student union.

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