Arizona GEAR UP partners with Be A Leader Foundation to increase postsecondary enrollment and reduce the attainment gap for underrepresented students through mentorship and leadership development. Be A Leader also works with school counselors on capacity building and engages students using a case-management approach to customize support with the college and financial aid application process.
Since 2006, Be A Leader has created college-going programs for Arizona youth. It designs each program to strengthen school resources while it focuses on building a college-going culture for students. Whether it’s through Senior Boot Camps, leadership conferences, or one of the many other programs, Be A Leader serves more than 8,000 students each year.
This time of year, Be A Leader hosts a Taking Steps Towards College Success event, which was held virtually this year. Students had access to more than 40 leadership and development sessions, listened to nationally recognized speakers, participated in a virtual resource fair, and attended one-on-one FAFSA and college advising sessions. More than 765 people registered for the summit, and 445 of these attendees engaged live throughout the two-and-a-half-day event. Summit sessions were all streamed through Zoom, on the summit site, or through a mobile app. Arizona GEAR UP sponsored the event.
Using the Senior Launch Guide, Arizona GEAR UP staff facilitated FAFSA and financial-aid sessions for attendees. “The Senior Launch Guide is packed full of information—especially financial aid and FAFSA—so it really makes the whole process much easier for students to navigate,” said Daniel Pulu, program manager for senior services at Arizona GEAR UP.
Be A Leader and Arizona GEAR UP will also team up on an upcoming college fair and FAFSA-completion event at Dysart High School on December 3. The virtual college fair will take place during the school day for Dysart students. The virtual FAFSA event is open to the public, and will take place 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
There’s no need to pre-register for the FAFSA event. Students and families can check out pages 34 and 35 of Senior Launch Guide to find out what information they need to fill out the FAFSA. For more information about this FAFSA event or the Senior Launch Guide, contact Daniel Pulu at Arizona GEAR UP.