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CMU students give back through GEAR UP

Students provide inspiration for Flint and Harrison youth

Contact: CMU News


Eighteen Central Michigan University students spent the past month mentoring Flint-area and Harrison youth during the GEAR UP Summer Adventure Program.

During the program, 55 middle and high school students from Harrison High School and select schools in the Flint area experienced life on a college campus. CMU students who once participated in the program guided students through academic, recreational and service-learning activities that provide them with the opportunity to prepare for university life. 

Mentors facilitated career exploration classes based on their fields of study, giving participants insight into future employment options. Hour long sessions in the fields of business, communication and public relations showcased interactive activities that helped them learn more about their interests.

“Working with GEAR UP has taught me to believe in others,” said Flint senior Kenah Lyons. “I have experienced what many feel they can’t do just by coming to college. I want other students to know that they can do it.”

Lyons, a public relations major, said she became a GEAR UP mentor to give back to the program that gave her the motivation to succeed in a university setting. She shows others that failure does not have to define them and that there are endless opportunities to succeed.

“I have had the pleasure of watching middle and high school students grow to their full potential,” Lyons said. “It is a privilege to be an inspiration to these students like my mentors were to me.”

Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, or GEAR UP, is a statewide effort to significantly increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in post secondary education by promoting academic excellence through a variety of locally designed and innovative early intervention services.


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