The US Department of Education has awarded $21 million over the next seven years to operate the GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Reading Undergraduate Program) through UTRGV.

The grant will serve a cohort of 3,906 seventh grade students in 13 middle schools that will transition to 6 high schools in the Brownsville ISD, Edinburg CISD, and La Joya Independent School Districts.

GEAR UP is designed to provide supplemental services to low-income students who are well-prepared for post-secondary education. Services include tutoring, mentoring, offering dual enrollment classes and college tours, amongst others.

La Joya ISD students to be served by UTRGV College In ACTion! GEAR UP Project include 7th graders from:

Domingo Treviño Middle School

Dr. Javier Saenz Middle School

Juan de Dios Salinas Middle School

Ann Richards Middle School

Lorenzo de Zavala Middle School

These middle schools will feed into:

La Joya Juarez-Lincoln High School and La Joya High School.

“Our partnership with UTRGV offers a great educational opportunity for our students that will allow them access to STEM careers – which are on the rise, and will also increase options for them in post-secondary education – ensuring academic success,” said Maria Belem Leal, La Joya ISD Grant Development Coordinator.

The grant will follow the 7th grade cohort of students through their first year of college while UTRGV, Valley school districts and community partners will match the Us Department of Education’s funding to provide more than $42 million to benefit students in the RGV.