GEAR UP continues successful summer program at Black Hills State

The 2019 GEAR UP Summer Honors Program is in full swing at Black Hills State University in Spearfish. Courtesy photo

SPEARFISH — For the fourth year in a row, Black Hills State University is hosting the GEAR UP Summer Honors Program on campus. Nearly 90 high school students arrived in Spearfish this week for the three-week program.

Dr. Peg Diekhoff, GEAR UP project manager, said the summer program prepares low-income students and American Indian students for higher education and encourages them to consider possibilities available to them.

“During the GEAR UP Summer Honors Program, students live on campus at Black Hills State and experience what it’s like to be a college student. The goal of GEAR UP is to increase the likelihood that at-risk students will enroll and succeed in higher education – whether that’s in a university setting or at a trade school,” said Diekhoff.

For two weeks at BHSU, the students will take academically rigorous courses in literacy, math, technology, science, American Indian Studies, and college preparation. Afternoon and evening enrichment activities include visits to local historic sites and speakers sharing about career opportunities.

The GEAR UP students and staff will spend the final week of the program at Outlaw Ranch in Custer where they will work on leadership, growth mindset, and teambuilding.

Students return to BHSU Friday, June 28 for a 10 a.m. closing ceremony in Meier Hall.

The SD GEAR UP Program at BHSU is funded by the U.S. Department of Education to the South Dakota Department of Education. The goal of the SD GEAR UP Program is to increase the number of students prepared to graduate from college. SD GEAR UP seeks to accomplish this goal by collaborating with middle and high schools throughout the state including many schools on American Indian Reservations in South Dakota. A specific focus of SD GEAR UP is to increase the number of American Indian students that achieve success at the post-secondary level.

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