Graduating class of 2019 GEAR UP College Signing Day

By McKenzie Williams


On Thursday, May 9 Montana GEAR UP planned a College Signing Day for the graduating class of 2019 at Libby Middle High School. GEAR UP, which stands for Gaining Early Awareness & Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, is a discretionary grant program designed to increase the number of students prepared to enter and succeed in post-secondary (after high school) education.

Montana GEAR UP supports schools, students, and their families to increase students’ college and career readiness through academic preparedness, post-secondary planning, and financial aid knowledge so that they may succeed in their education beyond high school.

The College Signing Week event was part of Montana’s college access initiative and an extension of the College Application Week initiative hosted last fall. The goal of the program is to highlight all students who commit to making plans after high school. During the event, students were recognized for choosing to enroll in community colleges, technical programs, private colleges, public universities, and enlisting in the military. Students headed straight for the hustle and bustle of the workforce were also recognized.

“Since the class of 2019 was in seventh grade, GEAR UP has been provided them with opportunities to visit college campuses and local businesses. College Signing Day was a great way to celebrate decisions on where their futures will take them.

“I am very proud of them and it has been a pleasure to help and watch them grow for the past six years,” said Deanna Malyevac, lead teacher of the after-school program.

Libby is in the second year of the GEAR UP grant cycle and this senior class is the third group to graduate after being part of the program.

The next GEAR UP event will be the Class of 2024, “I pledge to Graduate” breakfast which is scheduled for Thursday, May 23, at the Libby Middle High School from 7:45  until 9:15 a.m.

For more information on the GEAR UP program, contact Malyevac at 293-8802 ext. 195.