GEAR UP Kentucky is an acronym that stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs. The grant-funded program seeks to create a greater mindset of going to and completing college among students in areas where a college education is not the norm. GEAR UP staff members, from left, Heyde Hackel, Jennifer Woodward, and Chris Cates smile at a seventh grade rally for the program recently at Graves County Middle School. “The reaction we get from parents is really positive,” Cates said. “One of the things we like to do with parents is to teach financial literacy from Dave Ramsey’s company. We teach students basic skills like balancing a checkbook and learning the value of a dollar. We try to convey to students how important it is to save for college and to earn college credit while still in high school as a way to save money.” Woodward added, “At the middle school level, we focus on a lot of basic life skills, but in high school, it’s more about financial aid, career interests, how to get to college and those kinds of things.”
(Photo by Paul Schaumburg, Graves County Schools)

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