Thursday, March 24, 2005

The second annual Role Model Recognition Celebration, hosted by the Fairmont State GEAR UP Partnership, will honor those who have had a significant impact on the educational direction of a student.

This year's event, planned for 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, April 8, received such overwhelming response that it had be relocated from a local restaurant to the Feaster Center on the main campus of Fairmont State to accommodate the number of reservations, which has nearly tripled from last year's event.

GEAR UP students were given the opportunity to nominate individuals to be honored by submitting a written description of how someone has "œencouraged, supported, inspired, motivated or otherwise influenced them to do their best in school and to continue their education beyond high school." All qualifying nominees were awarded a certificate and invited to attend the Role Model Recognition Celebration where they can have dinner with the students who nominated them and hear from guest speakers. Awards for the "most outstanding" nominations will be presented during the event.

GEAR UP's Parent Coordinator, Victoria Kesner, developed the Role Model Recognition program to demonstrate the importance of parent and family involvement in education and to remind all adults that they set examples for young people every day.

"Having someone believe in you can affect whether or not you believe in yourself," Kesner said. "I continue to be blessed by two positive role models in my own life, my aunt Shirley and my uncle Glen, who inspired me to recognize the many humble efforts of others like them."

GEAR UP is a six-year, federally funded program that aims to significantly increase the number of students who are prepared to succeed in education beyond high school. In 1999, Fairmont State received the largest of 164 partnership grants awarded throughout the United States. GEAR UP serves 16,553 seventh- through 12th-grade students in 29 middle schools and 18 high schools in nine counties. The Fairmont State GEAR UP grant serves Barbour, Dodriddge, Harrison, Marion, Monongalia, Preston, Randolph, Taylor and Tucker counties. Fairmont State is in the process of applying for a new six-year GEAR UP grant that will expand the program into five additional counties.

Due to space limitations, reservations are required for those attending the Role Model Recognition event. For more information about the event or the Fairmont State GEAR UP Partnership, call (304) 367-0436.