The WSU Tri-Cities GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) project began in 2002 and over the past 18 years, more than 28,000 students have benefited from this federally funded program providing academic support for students in middle school through their first year of post-secondary education.

The first of the two new grants is the One Vision Partnership grant, totaling $20 million and serving 13 middle schools and 13 high schools. The schools in the local school districts receiving the money include Pasco, Kiona-Benton, Prosser, Mabton, Finley, Columbia, North Franklin, and Ephrata.

The second of the new grants is the Harvest of Hope grant, totaling $23 million and serving 14 middle schools and 12 high schools. The schools in the local school districts receiving this money are College Place, Dayton, Kennewick, Moses Lake, Othello, Prescott, Soap Lake, Touchet, Walla Walla and Warden.

With these two $20 million grants, the total number of students who will have benefited from this program is expected to blossom to over 35,000.

Resources abound for those college bound and the benefits are win-win situations across the board. Mentoring, tutoring, advising, and professional development are just some of the tools to utilize.

"The WSU Tri-Cities GEAR UP program has been very successful receiving new awards and preparing students for post-secondary opportunities," said Silvia Clark, WSU Tri-Cities GEAR UP One Vision Partnership director. "I am excited to parnter with the same partners we have worked with throughout the last decade and a half. We have enjoyed working with teachers and administrators to make college and post-secondary dreams become a reality for so many students."

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