Bank Supports GEAR UP Initiative at Preston High School

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fairmont State University GEAR UP and West Virginia GEAR UP, the state's two GEAR UP programs, are joining forces to encourage students to apply early to colleges and universities through College Application Week on Nov. 14-20.

The goal is to encourage every high school senior in a GEAR UP school to apply for admission to at least one community college and one four-year institution.

As an incentive to participate, every Fairmont State GEAR UP school that has at least 80 percent of its senior class complete these applications will have the senior students' names entered into a drawing. The prizes for the drawing will be four $300 Bridge Awards (scholarships) and an iPad, valued at $1,800.

Clear Mountain Bank in Preston County offered to match GEAR UP incentives for the seniors at Preston High School. Representatives from the bank presented a donation of $1,800 to support the GEAR UP program at Preston High School on Monday, Nov. 8.

"Now more than ever, understanding the importance of a post-secondary education is critical to our local high school students. The GEAR UP program provides many benefits and opportunities to these students and we're proud to support this initiative," said Clint McCabe, director of marketing at Clear Mountain Bank.

GEAR UP (Gaining Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is a federal program designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in college.

In 2005, Fairmont State was awarded the fourth largest of the 98 partnership grants given across the nation -- the only new grant to be awarded in West Virginia. The grant serves 14 counties: Barbour, Doddridge, Harrison, Marion, Monongalia, Preston, Randolph, Taylor, Tucker, Braxton, Calhoun, Gilmer, Lewis and Upshur.

For each of the six years of the grant, 6,617 students and their parents from 56 middle and high schools in the 14 counties will benefit from GEAR UP programs and services. More than 20 state, business and community partners, as well as hundreds of teachers, are committed to the program. GEAR UP activities include tutoring, mentoring, summer camps, teacher training and special workshops, field trips to colleges and special events, financial planning for parents, support equipment and motivational materials. For more information about FSU GEAR UP, visit www.fairmontstate.edu/gearup.

Clear Mountain Bank is a locally-owned and managed community bank serving Monongalia, Preston and Garrett counties. Clear Mountain Bank offers a comprehensive array of banking services. The company is a leader in providing electronic banking services, including electronic bill payment services and Remote Deposit. Additional information is available at http://www.clearmountainbank.com/.

Pictured from left to right are Amie Fazalare, director of Fairmont State GEAR UP; Kim Metheny, counselor; Jane Layne, counselor; Dr. Larry Parsons, Superintendent of Preston County Schools; Josh Groves of Fairmont State GEAR UP; Clint McCabe, director of marketing for Clear Mountain Bank; Susan Moran, GEAR UP liaison; Karen Finamore, Preston High School principal; Judy Huggins, teacher and GEAR UP site coordinator; and Shelly Pyles, counselor.

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