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GEAR UP supports students in post-high school plans


Karina Calmo is only in eighth grade at Walnut Middle School, but she knows it’s never too early to set goals and make a plan.


“I want to attend Yale and become a lawyer,” Karina said. “Sometimes I like to watch videos of people opening their acceptance letters to Yale. It just makes me happy.”


Karina said the staff and teachers at Walnut are supportive of her goal to attend Yale. She said they encourage her and help her in reaching her goals. 
Karina said she has always wanted to be a lawyer.


“The idea of putting pieces of information together to find something new or to confirm something happened is very interesting to me,” Karina said.


GEAR UP heard about Karina’s goals, since she shared them with her teachers and staff at Walnut. GEAR UP Director Dr. Allison Bailey decided to celebrate Karina and her goals by presenting her a few Yale items, such as a shirt, pennant and notebook.


“I’m really proud of you,” Dr. Bailey said to Karina upon presenting her the Yale items. “I encourage you to keep working on your skills and to keep your vision in mind.”
Walnut Principal Rod Foley was also present when Karina was given the Yale items.


“I’m proud of you and how well spoken you are,” Foley said to Karina. “When you can elaborate about your goals, it makes it easier to focus on them and to reach them.”


Dr. Bailey reminded Karina that she is supported by many different people, including the GEAR UP team.


“As you go into high school, we will be here to help you with your goals to attend Yale,” Dr. Bailey said. “We will support you and help hone your skills to match what Yale is looking for.”


Karina said she senses the support from the staff at Walnut and Grand Island Public Schools, including her administrators. 


“I feel happy that my teachers and administrators support me and my goals,” Karina said. “To me, my goals represent hard work and knowing that no matter what circumstance you come from, anything is possible,” Karina said.

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Mitchell Roush , Marketing & Communications
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