Students flocked to Gear Up college, career fair in Pahrump

Approximately 600 students packed the gym at Pahrump Valley High School for the Nevada Gear Up college and career fair.

Gear Up stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs.

The fair, which took place Oct. 18, is usually held in Beatty because of the central location but the location was changed this year to accommodate more students and colleges. Students came from Pahrump, Beatty, Round Mountain, Tonopah and Beatty.

“There was a fair being held in Las Vegas, the Access College Fair and so we decided to have ours at the same time to get more colleges out here,” Lisa Hamrick, Gear UP coordinator for Pahrump Valley High School said. “This was are most successful college and career fair to date.We worked very hard to make it the biggest, best and most successful.”

Carluh Luck, senior Pahrump Valley High School counselor, said the school had 20 colleges come from all over the state.

“We even had one college come from out of state, one that we didn’t know about and just came because they heard about it,” Luck said. “They were from the Suny Colleges in New York. We also had all branches of the military come and 30 businesses.”

Hamrick added that normally when they do this fair in Beatty the school takes 106 juniors and seniors to Beatty.

“This year was different,” she said. “We opened it to all the juniors and seniors from all the high schools in the district.”

Hamrick feels that the events that Gear UP holds during the year has really made more students aware of the amount of planning it takes to go to college.

“I would say from the last three college events that we have held to date, we have had at least 140 kids apply to college,” Hamrick said. “Students come up to me and tell me that because they went on the trip to UNLV, that was why they were going there or because they went on the trip to UNR that was the reason they were going there. We reach out to kids at about seventh grade and started talking about the credits they need to go to college. We tell them the time is now to plan and not next year.”

“Gear Up is a start to get them going,” Luck said. “The counselors at each grade level make a plan with each kid and we update it every year.”

Hamrick says Gear Up events like the FASFA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) are growing in popularity and attendance.

“At this year’s FASFA night we had over 100 parents and students attend,” she said. “We have numerous college days too where we attend a college or they come here. I think we also have raised the awareness of the importance of doing well on the ACT test (American College Testing) too. The scores went up last year and I think it was because we help students do better on them.”

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