(HawaiiNewsNow) - GEAR UP Hawai'i, along with the Governor of the State of Hawai'i, is celebrating National GEAR UP Week 2012 starting September 10. National GEAR UP Week commemorates the continuing success of Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate programs, a college access program funded by the U.S. Department of Education.
GEAR UP Hawai'i received a seven-year $22 million dollar matching grant from the U.S. Department of Education in October 2011. Their mission is to increase Hawai'i's middle school and high school students' awareness of, preparedness for, and enrollment in postsecondary education. It's a program of Hawai'i P-20 Partnerships for Education, whose goal is to assist in leading education reform efforts to help meet the state's goal of 55% of working age adults holding a two- or four- year college degree by 2025. Through a partnership with the Hawai'i State Department of Education and the University of Hawai'i System as well as the government, nonprofit, and private sectors, GEAR UP Hawai'i provides information, encouragement, support, resources, and services to help eliminate achievement gaps among groups traditionally underrepresented in higher education.
Over the past year, GEAR UP Hawai'i has served over 10,000 low-income students statewide in grades seven through twelve and through their first year in college at University of Hawai'i campuses. One of GEAR UP Hawai'i's major initiatives this year was to develop MyFutureHawaii, a college and career access web portal for the State of Hawai'i.
Myfuturehawaii serves as a "one-stop-shop" to explore careers, research colleges, and evaluate financial aid and scholarship options using real-time student data provided by the Hawai'i Department of Education. Teachers, guidance counselors, advisors and parents can use this resource to help students through the college navigation process. MyFutureHawaii is a joint project between the Hawaii State Department of Education, University of Hawaii System (UH), Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education and the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations/Workforce Development Council.
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