GEAR UP Architect Fattah Will Join GEAR UP Family Night at Sixers Game
PHILADELPHIA, March 8, 2012 — Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA), architect of GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), the decade-long national success story that prepares low-income students for college, will participate in a special Philadelphia celebration of GEAR UP Family Night at the 76ers game at the Wells Fargo Center Friday, March 9.
Nationally, GEAR UP has served 12 million students in 49 states and several U.S. territories with almost $4 billion in federal resources since Fattah won enactment of the program in 1998. A video chronicling the story of GEAR UP’s creation can be found HERE. The nation’s most successful college readiness program also serves as a model for efforts to prepare students for college in other nations. President Obama’s proposed budget includes $303 million to continue GEAR UP.
Philadelphia and other communities in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have received $57 million to provide GEAR UP programming since 1999. There are grants that serve students and school districts statewide, and partnership grants have been awarded to Philadelphia, Lancaster and Lewisburg.
On Friday night, Fattah will join students and staff of GEAR UP Philadelphia for GEAR UP Family Night activities before, during and after the Sixers’ NBA game against the Utah Jazz - tipoff at 7:05 p.m. Some of GEAR UP’s best and brightest students will be recognized throughout the evening. The fun-filled and informative evening for up to 2,500 GEAR UP students and caregivers is an outgrowth of GEAR UP Philadelphia’s partnership with the Sixers.
“I’ve been coast to coast and border to border - and all across Philadelphia — to raise the profile for this much needed program that improves the life chances and nurtures the dreams of students from low income and under-served backgrounds,” Fattah said.
“Many of these youngsters, as early as sixth grade, attend schools in the inner city or rural communities that are short of the resources they need for a full, life-advancing educational experience,” Fattah said. “GEAR UP provides an opportunity for these young people to compete for excellence and career advancement with students from the wealthiest suburban districts.
“This is energizing work for me,” Fattah said. “There is nothing as fulfilling as meeting these bright young people and telling them yes, you can compete, yes, you can succeed, and if you work hard you will attain a college education with all its rewards and challenges.”