Berea College to Receive Gear Up Grant

Berea College (Berea, KY) is one of 41 national recipients (and the only one in Kentucky) to receive a grant under Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) that will help at-risk students prepare for college and receive the support they need to achieve success in postsecondary education.

Berea College, which is already a recipient of Investing in Innovation and Promise Neighborhood grants and is part of one of the five Promise Zones, is receiving about $5.5 million to partner a range of postsecondary institutions and key organizations with high-poverty school districts. The grant will enable service to almost 7,000 students in 37 schools by providing a comprehensive set of services — to parents, students and schools — that support a sustainable college-going culture.

Berea College President, Lyle Roelofs, saluted the award and its benefit to Kentucky students saying, “Berea College’s Partners For Education program has the staff and expertise to provide support that will open the opportunity for a college education to so many students.  This is great news for Eastern Kentucky.”

“GEAR UP partnerships and state grants are inspiring examples of communities taking a stand for excellence and equity in education, investing in student success, and creating a culture that helps all young people achieve,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “I commend . . . recipients for their relentless efforts to help students realize their potential through college readiness, access and completion.”

“GEAR UP is aligned with the regional efforts of the Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) initiative,” stated Dreama Gentry, Executive Director for Berea’s Partners For Education and a member of the SOAR Education and Retraining Committee.