Featured stories

Launching the Colorado Challenge

Colorado GEAR UP student Arely Mora, now a junior at CU-Boulder, participated in the press conference launching the Colorado Challenge. Its goal is to help low-income students graduate college in four years. Partnering in the effort are Colorado GEAR UP, Daniels Fund and the Denver Scholarship Foundation, with Adams State, CSU-Fort Collins, CSU-Pueblo and Metro State. Read the press release and FAQ about the effort and watch the video.

Why join Colorado GEAR UP?

Why should students join Colorado GEAR UP? Lots of reasons, including individual advising from grades 8 through 12 and into college, college campus visits, help with college applications and financial aid, and more. Contact us if you have questions.

Back to college

GEAR UP student Isaac Bolanos had a 3.8 GPA and 20 college credits when he graduated from Aurora Central High School in 2011. But he struggled at Metro State University in Denver and dropped out after two months. Nearly a year later, he went back to college and recently graduated after completing his first semester at Community College of Aurora. In this video, Isaac talks about his experience - and what might have made the transition to college easier.

Going the extra mile

GEAR UP student Wayne Darlington struggled as a freshman at Jeffco's Alameda High. Luckily, he had veteran GEAR UP advisor Dawn Romero in his corner. She knew he dreamed of being a police officer so she worked with the School Resource Office to get him into the Lakewood Police Department's Youth Academy this summer, though they usually only take older students. He graduated this month.

photo of gear up student Wayne Darlington with certificate

Focus on the future

GEAR UP student Ka'Tavia Louis, 15, is just wrapping up her first year at Aurora Central High School. But the promise of a GEAR UP scholarship, the knowledge her GEAR UP advisors - Malcolm Laster and Phyllis Washington - are keeping an eye on her and two special adult role models are helping her keep her dream of college firmly in mind. "My mom had me when she was young ... so she dropped out of high school," Ka'Tavia said, "and she wants better for me."

Early remediation pilot

Colorado GEAR UP's innovative strategy was highlighted at an April 16 press conference with Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia. GEAR UP advisor Lauren Sisneros and two students enrolled in remedial math classes at Kearney Middle School in the Adams 14 School District spoke about the program. Eighth-graders Paola Chavez-Arroyo and Aimee Soto-Avila shared their experiences. Learn more about the pilot, which we created with Adams State University.

Going the distance

Guido Umogwaneza, a freshman at Aurora Central High School, may have traveled the farthest of any GEAR UP student in his young lifetime. Born in a refugee camp in Rwanda, Guido and his family came to America five years ago. He learned English from friends at school - it's his fifth language - and he's enrolled in GEAR UP's early remediation pilot. His plans now include CU-Boulder, a campus he visited with GEAR UP. After coming so far, why not?

Student success

Wesley Gallegos, a graduate of Martin Luther King Jr. College in Far Northeast Denver, joined the Colorado GEAR UP program as a seventh-grader. He is a first-generation college student now enrolled at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. Through GEAR UP, Wesley was able to earn more than 50 college credits in high school and will graduate from college more than a year early. He is already planning to apply to graduate school.

Rising star

Osvaldo Cabrera, an eighth-grader at Kearney Middle School in Commerce City, enrolled in Colorado GEAR UP to improve his chances of success in college. Cabrera would be the first in his family to go to college. He loves math and hopes to become an aerospace engineer. Through GEAR UP, he has completed two college-prep math courses and is embarking on a third. When he completes all three, he will be ready to go straight into college-level math, without spending time and money on remedial classes.