Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is a national college readiness program designed to increase the number of students who are prepared to enter and succeed in post-secondary education. The grant hopes to deepen its efforts with school districts and community organizations to make college a reality for more middle and high school students in the state.  

GEAR UP Achievers Partnership 

  • South King County school districts (Auburn, Kent, Renton and Tukwila)  


  • Current 6th (class of 2025) and 7th grade (class of 2024) at McKnight 
  • Program continues to Hazen//Renton and to their first year of college (ends September 2025) 
  • No defined time commitment – students can participate in any activity 

Closing academic achievement gaps   

  • Emphasizing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields   

Mentoring and a range of college-readiness activities:   

  • AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) classes 
  • Campus visits (UW, Highline, South Seattle, Bellevue, Renton Tech)  
  • Tutoring and academic workshops  
  • Workshops for students and parents on financial literacy and post-secondary planning 
  • Leadership, career and summer activities 

Summer Learning Opportunity at McKnight 

  • July 8 – August 1, 2019 from 8-12 pm 
  • Breakfast, lunch and buses provided 
  • Three subjects offered: Science, Math, ELA 
  • Current 6th & 7th grade students who need activities in the summer 


Field trips 

  • University of Washington Discovery Days (4/25/19)
  • Aviation Day (5/4/19)
  • Seattle Central College (5/29/19)
  • Highline College (6/6/19)

Contact us: 
Hong-Yen Chau 
GEAR UP Coordinator 

Jessi Traughber 
GEAR UP Teacher, Mentor & Instructional Specialist