Two college students from Kentucky have been selected to participate in an inaugural leadership program for GEAR UP alumni in Washington, D.C. in June. GEAR UP, or Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, is a federally funded college access and readiness program.

Brooke Stewart of Covington and Benjamin Whitlock of Greensburg are among the 30 former GEAR UP students selected from across the nation.

Yvonne Lovell, executive director of GEAR UP Kentucky, said, “We are thrilled to have our former students selected. Brooke and Ben are exceptional students and leaders, and will represent Kentucky exceedingly well.”

Stewart is a bio-chemistry major at the University of Kentucky and a graduate of Holmes High School, while Whitlock is a McConnell Scholar pursuing a history and political science degree at the University of Louisville. He is a graduate of Green County High School.

“I’m excited to continue my involvement with the GEAR UP program,” said Stewart. “Having just completed my first year at UK, I think being heavily involved in GEAR UP throughout high school helped me adapt to college work and life much more easily.”

“This is a great opportunity for me to impact education reform in my community and across the country,” added Whitlock. “I know the skills that I will learn through this experience will greatly benefit me as I continue my academic career.”

The academy will offer 12 months of training in leadership development and civic engagement, including the week in Washington. The National Council for Community and Education Partnerships, the training and technical assistance provider for the federal GEAR UP program, sponsors the program. The Kresge Foundation provided funding to support the program.

For more information about GEAR UP Kentucky, please contact Kim Millerd, Communications & Outreach Coordinator at (502) 573-4327.


About GEAR UP Kentucky 3.0: The mission of GEAR UP Kentucky 3.0, the state GEAR UP program, is to build a sustainable college-going culture in schools with a high percentage of low-income students. The GEAR UP Kentucky 3.0 program is administered by the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education and funded by the U.S. Department of Education, 2011 – 2017.

We believe in the transformative power of postsecondary education. Stronger by Degrees, the new strategic agenda for Kentucky’s colleges and universities and adult basic education, is powering a stronger Kentucky economy and improving the lives of Kentuckians. To learn more about Stronger by Degrees, visit http://cpe.ky.gov/strongerbydegrees.



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