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2021 – 2028 GEAR UP Partnership

The Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Education, is a partnership with Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) and four community organizations: Communities in Schools, Florida State College at Jacksonville, I am Star Foundation, and the University of North Florida’s SOAR School Counseling M.Ed. program. The SOAR program was awarded $1.6 M to help DCPS students from low-income backgrounds navigate the journey from grade seven (7) to undergraduate programs. This 2021 – 2027 GEAR UP grant is the sixth award for the SOAR program since 1999 and builds upon the rich legacy of collaboration between UNF COEHS and DCPS to increase college access and success for local students while nurturing the leadership talent of future educators.

The UNF-SOAR branch of the GEAR UP partnership serves a cohort of 750 middle school students across 10 local schools through early intervention programs, including early career exploration, career fairs, individual and small group mentoring, a career representative speaker series and youth leadership development for participating DCPS and UNF students. This new award is expected to continue yielding demonstrable gains on education outcomes among participating middle school students such as passing challenging pre-algebra classes, improving average daily attendance and parental engagement, and setting aspirations for post-secondary options.

To learn about paid mentoring opportunities as a College-Career Navigator (CCN), complete an interest form.

To learn about the SOAR program, register for an online Information Session

For more information, email us at or book an appointment for an online meeting.

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