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College to Celebrate Gear-Up Project Accomplishments
Photos and Story by James Hill
PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Community College presents the First Annual Gear Up Community Recognition Celebration from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at the Doubletree Hotel, 1401 N. Hayden Island Dr. The special event is to honor the accomplishments of the PCC/Gear Up Project and give a report on the project’s success in its first year."We are very excited about the work PCC/Gear Up Project has been doing and want to take this opportunity to share an overview of the year’s activities, recognize excellence, and celebrate the project’s accomplishments,"said Mildred Ollee, executive dean of the Cascade Campus. "In short, it has been a busy, hectic, but rewarding first year."PCC/Gear Up Project is a federally funded initiative that seeks to improve student achievement, encourage high school completion, and increase the rate at which students in the community move on to post-secondary education. In October of 2000, the Gear Up Project received a $2.8 million grant from the Department of Education to serve more than 700 sixth- and seventh-grade students at Harriet Tubman and Ockley Green middle schools, as well as students from Jefferson High School in north Portland.The goal of this project, which will run through 2005, is to provide intervention and academic strengthening services to low-income middle school and high school students to prepare them for post-secondary education. This has been the first year of the project and PCC has hired staff, built powerful partnerships within the community and are currently serving hundreds of students.Highlights for the project include the addition of 60 mentors, development of 25 rigorous courses offered at each participating school, partnering with Portland Public School’s CIM Academy, and helping 300 eighth-graders to visit Oregon State University for day-long field trips. The Feb. 27 event will include a light meal, entertainment, an awards ceremony and a presentation by Gear Up Director John Nelson.