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Middle School Students Attend GEAR UP College and Career Readiness Camp

This is a photo of a group of GEAR UP students, standing in front of a wall mural and smiling at the camera.What are my interests?
What will my life look like in 20 years?
Close to 40 SCSD middle school students experienced a College and Career Readiness Mini Camp this summer, thanks to the NYGEAR UP program!
Over the course of two weeks, students enjoyed daily activities on the Onondaga Community College Campus, where they worked not only with SCSD teachers but also rising high school seniors and recent high school graduates.
Students explored the Mad Learn app, participating in a two-day workshop where they received an in-depth tutorial about how to create an app – and then worked to create their own workable app, which they could enter into a ‘Shark Tank’ event. Students also participated in team building activities, as well as college and career readiness activities and both small and large group discussions.
On the OCC campus, students and their families were invited to tour the school’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs and participate in interactive activities in the areas of Health Information Technology, Nursing, Computer Information Systems, Auto Tech, and Broadcast Media Communications – all of which align with CTE pathways currently offered in SCSD high schools!
For Frazer 8th grader Ca’Meyle Martin, the opportunity to learn more in depth about the pathways offered in college helped her rethink her own ambitions. She entered the camp thinking she wanted to work in broadcast media one day.
“My favorite part was the college tours,” she explained. “They made me think differently! I didn’t want to be a doctor at first, but now I do, after seeing all the colleges. I saw all the different types of doctors, and the opportunities they have, and that made me change my path. The camp was fun overall – I enjoyed going!”
Students had the chance to attend college tours at Le Moyne College, D'Youville University in Buffalo, and Villa Maria College in Buffalo, so students could visualize themselves in the higher education setting. Students, along with the families, were exposed to both state and private institutions and received an abundance of resources to help get them thinking about their future.
While the students were dreaming about their future, families were invited to participate in question and answer sessions with staff, where they learned about various scholarship opportunities, Title 1 services, the Early Opportunities Program (EOP) and more.
Ca’Meyle’s mother, Laronda Agee, said what she most appreciated was the head start that the camp provided for her daughter.
“When Ca’Meyle went there, she had one idea in mind… she thought she wanted to do broadcasting,” Ms. Agee shared. “She came out more interested in nursing than she thought she was! That makes a big difference, because next year, she’ll be going into high school. She’ll get to pick her high school based on a career path she’s interested in. Before the camp, she would have gone in thinking she wanted to do one thing… but because of this experience, she knows that realistically, she’s more interested in something else. This was a great opportunity for her. She was indecisive before about her path, and now it’s a clear decision for her… it surprised both of us! It’s been helpful for both of us to have this experience before she makes her choice for high school.”

What a wonderful way to help these middle school students gear up for a new year of #SCSDSuccess! Thank you to the NYGEAR UP partners who made this camp possible, including Onondaga Community College, Le Moyne College, MAD-Learn, the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities, SUNY (State Universities of New York), NY 529 Savings and ABLE Programs in the Office of the New York State Comptroller (which donated State Fair tickets and parking passes for participants), and the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation!
Anthony Q. Davis, Superintendent
725 Harrison Street
Syracuse, NY 13210
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