Parent Perspectives on GEAR UP: University IS in Her Future
See the USU STARS! GEAR UP program in action. Our newest video, released in October 2019, introduces our local GEAR UP program through the perspective of program directors and parents. It explores what the program offers students, partnerships with schools, and the impact that it is having on students and their families.
Earlier this fall, we interviewed three parents about their experiences with the USU STARS! GEAR UP program. Each one talked about different aspects of their child’s involvement, from summer camps and Greenpower car racing to mentoring and confidence-building. Excerpts from these interviews featured below are also available in a video about the USU STARS! program.
“It has been fun to watch my son participate in these things,” said Julie, parent of a 10th grade student in our program. “He has gotten the chance to do the summer camp, where he came to Utah State. They stayed in the dorms. They ate the food. They got to interact with college students who are not that much older than them but just enough to be really cool. And, they were able to find out more about programs and opportunities. It really opened his eyes to what he might want to pursue.”
Lael has two sons’ in the GEAR UP program, one in middle school and one high school. “We've enjoyed a lot of the programs,” said Lael. “The campus visits, even though they were short, they were really important for my kids [to help them] gain a little confidence that they could operate in a place like that.” She also liked “the Greenpower program that allowed my son to actually help design and build an electric car was a really great opportunity. When they finished the vehicle, they took it down to a big event and took it around a track, raced it against a bunch of other schools. He talked about that event for weeks afterwards.”
“I just think it's a great experience. I think it definitely gives them a future as opposed to just wallowing in the unknown,” said Stephanie, parent of a 9th grade student in our program. “And whether she stays up in dorms, or whether she attends Utah State or what have you wherever she goes. I think university is something in her future.”
Julie also pointed out how helpful the site coordinator at each school is in the whole process, saying “They were really good to communicate. The school itself, they had a coordinator on-site that was going to be a liaison between parents who are receiving e-mails. They included it in the back to school orientation materials and try to keep us in the loop. [They] encouraged us to fill out some surveys and provide feedback that way.”
Each parent brought an interesting perspective on the program and how it helps their child. Julie talked about the process and objectives of the program, saying “If this is an opportunity available through your school grab it. You do not have to be a college graduate yourself. They will walk you through every step that you need…. Take advantage of those things… they'll make sure you're going to be well-informed.”