GEAR UP Partners with to Develop College and Career Readiness for First Generation College Students

ASHEVILLE, NC - 2/3/2016 (PRESS RELEASE JET) -- Students now have the ability to explore hundreds of diverse and otherwise inaccessible careers from their classrooms and homes. A growing number of GEAR UP recipients--including sites in Texas, Maine, Utah, Kansas, Arizona, Washington and North Carolina--have partnered with to ensure the success of students as they graduate from high school and prepare for a post-secondary career. GEAR UP, a federally-funded grant program administered through the U.S. Department of Education, is working with to provide online job shadowing to students across the United States. These students have access to a collection of career profile videos unlike any other. 

GEAR UP, or Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, targets low-income students in an effort to equip them with the skills necessary to enter and succeed in post-secondary environments. The adoption of by so many GEAR UP grantees around the nation provides students with the opportunity to “job shadow” individuals across a multitude of in-demand professions. Jennifer Wilson-Kearse, Director of GEAR UP at Appalachian State University, oversees the operation of twenty-eight sites serving students in eleven rural Western North Carolina counties. Ms. Wilson- Kearse believes that career exploration is a critical component to preparing students for their next steps. “Thinking about what students’ interests are and connecting those interests to career opportunities--being able to complete a path for every student is really important--and helps us do that.” 

The portal is customized for each user and allows students to search for internships and jobs in their region, promoting their understanding of the career outlook for jobs locally. Users are able to job shadow actual employees in their day-to-day activities via the videos and have access to comprehensive information about salaries, required education, college programs, and much more. Jonathan Carpenter, an Appalachian State GEAR UP site supervisor, states: “The careers that are on are not necessarily jobs that students would have exposure to growing up in their local communities so it opens up the horizon of job opportunities and career paths that they can go down. Without, they might not be able to see them.” Jim Dorward, Director of GEAR UP at Utah State University adds, “Getting that awareness and increasing [students’] understanding about things that they need to do, classes they need to take to prepare them, how to put together a resume, and that pursuit of post-secondary education and career options are what is all about and that’s very complementary to the goals of the GEAR UP program.” 

Kim Celentano, CEO and President of agrees. “We created to enable every student to discover what they’re passionate about to 

help improve the decision making process as they plan for their futures. We are thrilled that our mission ties so well to GEAR UP’s and to be serving these amazing programs.” 

For additional information, please contact Dawn Conley at 888-908-4924 ext. 2 or 

About is a premier career exploration and planning resource that provides online tools for researching and documenting college and career plans. serves middle schools, high schools, post-secondary institutions, career centers, and government agencies in over forty-five states. is operated by Strivven Media, LLC and is headquartered in Asheville, NC. 

Please visit for more information. 

About GEAR UP 

GEAR UP is federal grant program designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. GEAR UP provides six-year grants to states and partnership cohorts to provide services at middle and high schools. GEAR UP grantees serve students beginning in the seventh grade as they progress through high school. To learn more about GEAR UP, please visit

Media Contact

Company Name: Strivven Media LLC
Name: Dawn Conley
Phone: 888-908-4924 x2
Email Address:


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