November 2017
College Application Month

A Note from the GEAR UP New Hampshire Team

Welcome to the first issue of GEAR UP New Hampshire’s quarterly newsletter!  On behalf of the GEAR UP New Hampshire team I’m thrilled to share this resource with you.  GEAR UP, which stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, is a program that helps students succeed in school. It helps families and students learn about choices for education after high school and how to pay for it.  GEAR UP believes that every student should have the opportunity to go to college if they work hard, take the right courses and stay in school.  GEAR UP also believes that planning future success should begin with students and families early.  We are delighted to be working with 7th and 8th grade students from across NH to make them future ready. 
As you’ll read below the past few months have been a whirlwind of activity from kick off events to celebrating national GEAR UP week.   This is just the beginning of what promises to be an exciting opportunity for our students to promote academic readiness, explore college and career aspirations and expand their college knowledge. 
Our goal is to comprise this newsletter with educational information, helpful tips, events and news.  Please send us photos, accomplishments and news throughout the year so we can share best practices with everyone. 

Happy Holidays!
Stephanie Lesperance
Program Director

News from our Partner Schools

Open House at Whitefield Elementary
In late September, Whitefield Elementary hosted a GEAR UP Open House for the families of the 7th and 8th graders. With a packed house, families got to ask some of their burning questions, had the opportunity to talk with members of the GEAR UP New Hampshire team, and walked away with a ton of GEAR UP New Hampshire information and other GEAR UP goodies! Looking to host a GEAR UP Open House at your school? Email MaeAnna Edwards for more information. 

National GEAR UP Week
Our first National GEAR UP Week was a MAJOR success! Advisory Teams at all of our schools put a lot of time and energy into making that week such a hit with the students. With positive reports on door decorations, college trivia, t-shirt making, and students recognizing what GEAR UP is, we could not be more excited! Thank you for all your help in kicking off GEAR UP the right way in your schools. Have any stories or photos from National GEAR UP Week or College Awareness Week? Email MaeAnna Edwards!

Regional Meeting
In early November, the GEAR UP New Hampshire team met with GEAR UP Advisory Teams from Berlin, Lisbon, Stewartstown, and White Mountains school districts. We spent half a day collaborating with others while thinking about Academic Readiness, Parent Involvement, College and Career Aspirations, and College Knowledge. We had the chance to hear what all of the cohort schools are working on including plans for College Awareness Week, Winter Carnivals, STEM Camps, and College Tours! We are thrilled with all of the great work our cohort schools in the North Country are doing and we are so excited to hear about the progress in Claremont, Franklin, and Laconia at the end of the month!
If you attended the Regional Meeting on November 8th, please fill out this feedback form so we can continue to provide you with useful programming.
Laconia Middle School
The GEAR UP New Hampshire Team at Whitefield Elementary's GEAR UP Open House.
From left to right: MaeAnna Edwards, GEAR UP New Hampshire Access Coordinator; Aarron Dupuis, GEAR UP AmeriCorps VISTA; Stephanie Lesperance, GEAR UP New Hampshire Project Director; Elizabeth Malia, Projects Assistant; Chelsea Christiansen, National Service Coordinator. 

GEAR UP Partner Schools

Berlin Middle School
Claremont Middle School
Franklin Middle School
Laconia Middle School 
Lisbon Regional School
Stewartstown Community School
Whitefield Elementary School
Share your GEAR UP New Hampshire Success Stories!

Are you an educator that has seen a shift in your school culture because of GEAR UP New Hampshire? Do you have a student who wants to share their GEAR UP story? Have you heard a parent who is excited about the opportunities their 7th or 8th grader has? Would you like to highlight your school for the awesome GEAR UP work you've been doing? If you answered yes to any of those questions above and want to tell us about it, we would love to hear from you! Please email MaeAnna Edwards with your stories! 

Community News

College Access Conventions

Packed house at Southern New Hampshire University for our Manchester College Access Convention. Joint efforts from New Hampshire Scholars Initiative and GEAR UP New Hampshire via the New Hampshire College & University Council and Campus Compact for New Hampshire rallied over 800 New Hampshire students over three Access Conventions at Southern New Hampshire University, Great Bay Community College, and Keene State College in  November. For more information on the College Access Conventions, please email Scott Power
ProTip from Admissions Counselors
College Admission Counselors say that the best way to learn about a campus is to be there! College visits can never happen too early! Encourage your students and families to take college tours on their own. Schedule a field trip to see colleges maybe a little further away than most families can travel to. College admissions officers love to hear from students and, in fact, one component of the admissions process is how much a student interacts with that college. Start touring today!

New Hampshire Scholars

Keeping your students academically ready for the competitive college application process. 
All of the GEAR UP cohort schools participate in the statewide NH Scholars Program.  Through GEAR UP we have an opportunity to enhance awareness and increase expectations via NH Scholars.  When students advance to the next level, whether that’s transitioning from middle to high school or high school to college, they need to feel confident that their preparation was more than adequate: this is academic readiness. It is a crucial component for success. It means that your students can handle course work at the next level, especially in math, reading, and writing. 

This is why it is so important to introduce NH Scholars to your 6th, 7th and 8th graders.  The earlier students and families understand the importance of taking challenging coursework, especially in the core courses, it will allow them to make sound decisions when developing their 4-year high school plan.  We encourage you to talk to your middle school students about the benefits of taking a rigorous course load and include NH Scholars information in your Step Up Nights and Program of Studies.  Early communication will encourage students to reach higher with a goal to graduate with the NH Scholar distinction.

For more information, visit or contact Scott Power.

New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation (NHHEAF)

Now partnering with GEAR UP New Hampshire!
GEAR UP New Hampshire is now partnering with the Center for College Planning and NHHEAF to provide you with quality programming through the academic year. Your specific counselor will reach out to you throughout the year to schedule events for your students to attend, and others that their parents and families can attend as well. To view the counselor for your school, see below: 

School Center for College Planning (CCP) Counselor
Claremont Middle School Moira Valenti
Franklin Middle School Cameron Owen
Laconia Middle School Cameron Owen
Stewartstown Community School Ken Proulx
Berlin Middle School Ken Proulx
Whitefield Elementary School Ken Proulx
Lisbon Regional School Ken Proulx

For specific questions about how the CCP is partnering with GEAR UP New Hampshire schools, please contact Moira Valenti (800.525.2577 x564). 
ProTip for Parent Involvement!
Invite your parents to the NHHEAF Early College Awareness presentations! These presentations are full of useful information to families and it is important to provide this information as early as possible. Try to have a separate room with snacks, entertainment, and supervision for younger siblings so that parents can focus on the information being given during the meeting. To see some of NHHEAF's events, click here!

Professional Development

Webinars and Online Training
November 29: Using Frank FAFSA to Help Students Complete the FAFSA and Pay for College (NCAN Member Webinar)
November 30: Data Maturity: How to Keep Improving Your Approach to Data
January 17: Data and Pre-Post Analyses to Examine Professional Development Effectiveness

Issues, Challenges, and Successes for GEAR UP Programs in Rural Areas
Make Me a Match: Helping Low Income and First Generation Students Make Good College Choices
Financial Literacy for Kids

For a list of educational conferences happening around the world, follow this link
November, 2017: FSA Training Conference 
December, 2017: AVID National Conference
April, 2018: National Partnership for Educational Access Annual Conference
July, 2018: GEAR UP Annual Conference
September, 2018: National College Access Network Conference

Book of the Month: Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest your Destiny, Hill Harper

Meet our Team!

MaeAnna Edwards, Access Coordinator

Hello! My name is MaeAnna and I am the Access Coordinator for GEAR UP New Hampshire! My primary responsibilities include communicating with the GEAR UP cohort schools, as well as bringing fun, innovative activities to the GEAR UP New Hampshire program. Prior to joining GEAR UP, I served two terms as an AmeriCorps VISTA, my final year as a VISTA Leader, with Campus Compact for New Hampshire placed at Dartmouth College. As a VISTA, I worked with Summer Enrichment at Dartmouth (SEAD) as a coordinator, and my final year I was able to try my hand at directing the program. I am a summer camp kid at heart and I love having the opportunity to mentor students who are interested in the college path.
I graduated from St. Bonaventure University, in Olean, New York, with a Bachelor's of Arts degree in Sociology with a minor in Psychology and concentrations in Social Work and Criminology. While at St. Bonaventure, I was able to study abroad in Northern Ireland at Queen's University of Belfast. When I'm not at work, or driving to one of our cohort schools, I love to cook, listen to podcasts, and see some of my favorite musicians on tour. 
Debby Scire
Executive Director
Campus Compact for New Hampshire
603.223.2302 x314

Stephanie Lesperance
GEAR UP Project Director
603.223.2302 x312

Jillian Oates
Program Director
603.223.2302 x312

Scott Power
Director, New Hampshire Scholars
603.225.4199 x300

Ann Tierno
Program Director
603.223.2302 x310

Mike Vlacich
New Hampshire College and University Council
603.225.4199 x618

Chelsea Christiansen
National Service Program Coordinator
603.223.2302 x313

Elizabeth Malia
Projects Assistant
603.223.2302 x340

MaeAnna Edwards
Access Coordinator
603.225.4199 x200

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