July 19-22, 2015 San Francisco, California
The 2015 GEAR UP Annual Conference took take place July 19–22, 2015 at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square in San Francisco, California. The Annual Conference actualized the theme: Together we Rise and featured five plenary sessions, approximately 135 concurrent sessions, and a variety of pre- and post-conference events.
“Awesome NCCEP conference this year. My team was fully Engaged, Excited and Energized! The California delegation is mobilized to excel and prove why GEAR UP is the most effective college readiness program in the nation. We will be sharing what we learned at the conference, focused on improving service to schools, students and families throughout our State.”Shelley Davis, DirectorCalifornia GEAR UP
“The conference was a wonderful reminder of the power of community. Our leadership team was met with a warm welcome by GEAR UP personnel at every turn, whose genuine interest lies within their hearts as seen through their actions. We were able to share ideas, which when coupled with a genuine sharing of like-minded people whose focus is all the same allows one to come away with the architecture for the labor of passion that provides support to move mountains.”Isaac ScharagaVista Preparatory Academy Principal/Conference Presenter
“In the spirit of Ranjit Sidhu, President and CEO of the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships, my reflections from the conference align with the his words on conference theme “we must celebrate our impact and rich history as a social movement, but at the same time, strive for even greater heights.” With the conference theme of unity: Together We Rise, the conference did inspire and motivate through speakers like Mary Mazzio and Sal Khan.”Kay CoelhoCalifornia GEAR UP
One of the highlights of the conference every year is the GEAR UP Alumni Leadership Academy. In order to better support the GEAR UP mission nationwide, the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP) created the GUALA program to show the GEAR UP dream actualized. GUALA works to advance college and career readiness in communities by providing 12 months of training for Alumni Leaders on topics related to peer-to-peer outreach and mentoring, social media engagement, public speaking, and education policy. It’s really cool to see the academy members talk about their struggles and demonstrate their resiliency.Sean BrennanCalifornia GEAR UP
“The experience was great! I am a HUGE
fan of GEAR UP and would like to thank
everyone who made this possible. I may
have only been here a few days but the
experience will stay with me forever!
Hope I’m invited again.”
— Youth Congress 10th Grader
As in past conferences, we were all exhausted from the extensive professional development, collegially working with other GEAR UP professionals, and learning more about effective practices from programs across the country. Now we return to our own organization to share what we learned and to be more effective in the powerful work we do every day.