Wilkes County Schools

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Gear Up

GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is a federally funded college access program designed to increase the number of students who are prepared to enter and succeed in post-secondary education immediately after high school.

Wilkes County Schools is one of ten school districts working in partnership with Appalachian State University to provide college preparation activities to approximately 15,000 middle and high school students and parents in western North Carolina.

In the 2023-2024 school year, students in grades 7-8 in the middle schools and grades 9-10 in the high schools will be served by the GEAR UP grant. The grant provides opportunities for students to visit college campuses, explore career opportunities, strengthen their academic and non-cognitive skills, learn about securing financial aid and scholarship assistance to pay for college, and develop their own pathways for their future lives after high school.
Wilkes County has three full-time GEAR UP Coordinators who serve the four middle schools and the five high schools in the grant.
Crystal Edwards serves Central Wilkes Middle, East Wilkes Middle, and East Wilkes High. Email Ms. Edwards.
Jody Freeman serves West Wilkes Middle, West Wilkes High, and Wilkes Early College High.
Email Ms. Freeman.
Sarah Whittington serves North Wilkes Middle, North Wilkes High, and Wilkes Central High. Email Ms. Whittington.
To visit the Appalachian State GEAR UP website, please go to https://gearup.appstate.edu