This article was written by guest contributor Blake Jones.
GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is a federally funded program aiming to positively impact underserved middle school and high school students. Activities range from tutoring and mentoring to the facilitation of lessons and conversations about financial literacy and college readiness. I’m currently working as a GEAR UP Coach at Ben Franklin High School. This experience has honestly been life changing in some of the most unpredictable ways. I did not have any expectations of walking into the school like someone’s savior, just as a student trying to help others. There’s a certain level of authenticity within the students that one can never fail to appreciate, especially if you communicate that same level of genuineness.