GEAR UP: A Key to Students’ Futures


GEAR UP’s field trip to the UVU (Utah Valley University) was phenomenal, according to the students who attended. Students were enlightened by the facts about UVU. For example, UVU has the highest number of students in the state of Utah. UVU welcomed 43. 099 students for the 2022 fall semester, according to data provided by the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE),  and  has low tuition rates compared to other 4-year universities. After touring UVU, Gear Up counselors took the students to the aquarium where they learned all about aquatic life. They put the students in a simulation where they were marine vets and had to write reports about the health of a synthetic turtle. Some students shared their thoughts about the trip.

“It was a very interesting and amazing field trip. I feel like I learned a lot about the UVU and what it has to offer,” said Mohammed Aboul-Foul, junior.

Lian Luo , a junior, also found the trip worthwhile:

“I feel like a lot of my questions were answered about UVU. I liked that we also went to the aquarium afterward,” he said.

GEAR UP is familiar to some students at Cottonwood, but what is it? GEAR UP stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs. This program is dedicated to helping students figure out what they want to achieve in their lives. GEAR UP consists of making field trips to universities and colleges to help kids determine which school is the perfect fit for them. They also provide help with ACT prep and PSAT prep.

Their main mission is to “provide financial aid information for post-secondary education to students and parents, encourage student enrollment in rigorous and challenging curricula to reduce remedial coursework at the post-secondary level.”, and, “improve the number of students who obtain high school diplomas and enroll in post-secondary education” according to the official GEAR UP Cottonwood website.