John earns GEAR UP leadership award

Published 10:44 am Tuesday, October 4, 2016

FRANKFORT — Elizabeth John, a junior at George Rogers Clark High School, was one of 25 students recognized in a ceremony in the State Capitol Sept. 20 as part of the first Kentucky GEAR UP Week Celebration. More than 100 students, parents and educators gathered in the Capitol Rotunda to recognize the GEAR UP Kentucky Students of the Year for their leadership among their peers, personal accomplishments and academic achievements.

GEAR UP, or Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, is a federally funded program designed to create a sustainable college-going culture and increase the number of students who stay in school and succeed in postsecondary education.

John was named as George Rogers Clark High School 2015-16 GEAR UP Student of the Year in spring 2016. GEAR UP Students of the Year are identified by program staff as an emerging student leader in good academic standing with proven leadership among their peers and consistent participation in program and school activities.

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John has completed more than 250 hours of community service and earned 52 awards through her participation in JROTC, where she achieved the rank of First Sergeant last year.  Her GEAR UP advisors say, “No matter the path she ends up taking, Elizabeth will show resolve and ambition to let nothing stand in her way.”All nominated students submitted a video essay entitled “What GEAR UP Means to Me.”

Kentucky currently has four GEAR UP programs: the state grant administered by the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education and three GEAR UP partnership grants led by Berea College. Combined, these programs help more than 46,000 Kentucky students and families in 130 low-income middle and high schools understand how to plan, apply and pay for college.

For more information about GEAR UP KY, visit