From October 17-19, GEAR UP members from across the western United States gathered in Billings, Montana for the GEAR UP West Conference. The annual event brings together GEAR UP Programs to discuss projects and progress in educational equity. Arizona GEAR UP’s very own Daniel Pulu presented at the conference.
Daniel was joined by Duane Gregg from GEAR UP Tennessee to co-present on one of our flagship projects, the Senior Launch Guide, an all-in-one resource designed to help high school seniors transition to life after graduation.
The two-pronged presentation began with Daniel describing how the guide came about and demonstrated best practices and implementations of the guide. One emphasis of the Senior Launch Guide is the ease of use and support available. Daniel highlighted the addition of supporting documents, an English and Spanish version of the guide, and supplemental videos to help guide students and families through individual sections of the guide.
“As soon as I brought out a hard copy of the guide, it sent the presentation over the top,” Daniel said. “Everyone was so excited looking through it and complimenting it.”
The Senior Launch Guide is available online for free and a printed copy is given to every Arizona GEAR UP Senior each year thanks to Helios Education Foundation.
For the second part of the presentation, Daniel passed it over to Duane who discussed how GEAR UP Tennessee worked with Daniel to develop their very own Senior Launch Guide. He showed the audience how they collaborated and adjusted the Launch Guide to fit their program needs. Everything from structure, graphic design, and content was tailormade for GEAR UP Tennessee.
“After the presentation, we had people come up and ask how they could get started working on their very own guide,” Daniel said.
After the presentation, Daniel attended multiple workshops and presentations during his time there and gained a lot of knowledge and motivation interacting with other GEAR UP staff.
“I know we say this a lot, but truly, GEAR UP works. Seeing all of the hard work that other individuals are doing, it really speaks to what we are doing here. It’s nice to know that you are not alone, and that we’re all doing this work together, so that GEAR UP works.”