BOONE, N.C. — Since 2015, high-achieving middle and high school students in Watauga and Ashe County schools have received specialized programming designed to help them succeed in their high school and college careers — and beyond — thanks to the continued partnership between Appalachian State University’s GEAR UP program and Young Eisner Scholars (YES).
Dr. Jim Beeler, director of GEAR UP at Appalachian, received a total of $165,750 in additional funding for 201718 and 2018–19 academic years.
YES works with middle school scholars by engaging with them in small group sessions on a weekly basis to develop critical thinking, language and leadership skills.
“We believe the next leaders and academics of America exist in these communities and we intend to prepare them intellectually, socially, and emotionally for their future successes,” YES’ website states.
The Appalachian–YES partnership, which began in May 2015, identifies scholars in sixth grade who attend the following schools in Watauga and Ashe counties:
- Bethel Elementary School.
- Blue Ridge Elementary School.
- Cove Creek Elementary School.
- Green Valley Elementary School.
- Mabel Elementary School.
- Mountain View Elementary School.
- Westwood Elementary School.
Selected rising ninth-grade Young Eisner Scholars have participated in the Appalachian Adventure Academy, which brings together students from four different YES branches — Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago and Appalachia — to engage in academic, leadership and physical activities to prepare them for high school. The academy is held for a total of 10 days in July on Appalachian's main campus.
Susan Saule is coordinator of the YES program at Appalachian, and Corinne Smith, senior associate director for Appalachian’s GEAR UP program, assists Saule in supporting YES scholars.
In August 2017, Cynthia Lawrence “Cindy” Barr became associate vice chancellor of enrollment management and is the current director of Appalachian’s College Access Partnerships, the office in which the GEAR UP and YES programs are housed.
About College Access Partnerships
Appalachian State University’s College Access Partnerships supports students from the Appalachian region of North Carolina in finding their own distinct path to postsecondary education. This is accomplished by supporting the work of teachers, counselors and educators, along with providing direct services to students. College Access Partnerships offers the Upward Bound and GEAR UP programs, as well as additional resources for students, families and educators. Learn more at https://gocollege.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System, Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.