FSU GEAR UP Participant Selected to Attend National Council

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Jacob Shahan, a senior at Grafton High School was selected to attend the 12th Annual National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP) Youth Leadership Summit that was held in San Francisco, California, July 17-20, 2011.

Shahan was one of only 30 students selected nationally to be a first-time attendee at the Summit. All participants in the Youth Leadership Summit (YLS) are students from schools served by Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP), a federal program designed to increase the number of low-income youth who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. Students are selected in a competitive application process based on their academic achievement, leadership experience, personal statement and letters of recommendation.

Over the course of the Summit, students worked collectively to create a report focused on two key elements: what educators should consider when designing strategies and programs aimed at improving student achievement, and how business and community leaders, policy makers, and educators can build on student ideas for improving success and strengthening the education system as a whole. The culmination of the Summit was the students’ presentation of the report to the over 2,000 attendees of the NCCEP/GEAR UP Annual Conference.

Jacob Shahan is a participant of the Fairmont State University GEAR UP program. He enjoys playing the guitar and has won local talent shows. Shahan has won first place in school science fairs and many essay contests. He spends his summers working with horses at a local business. He attends Harmony Grove Baptist Church.  He wants to attend West Virginia University and study in the engineering program after graduating from high school.

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 have benefitted 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 the FSU GEAR UP Partnership, visit www.fairmontstate.edu/gearup

About the photo:

Pictured from left to right are Penny Coplin, Grafton High School counselor; Jacob Shahan; and Johnna Shahan, Jacob’s mother.