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VSAC celebrates GEAR UP Week with music, science and more

Students’ accomplishments shine at school events

WINOOSKI (September 7, 2017)—Vermont Student Assistance Corp. is pulling out the stops for GEAR UP Week, Sept. 18-22, at 49 schools across Vermont.

Over 1,500 students will join in special activities and programs at their schools as part of VSAC’s GEAR UP college access program, including Montshire Museum’s Pop-Up Science program, performances by Jared Campbell and Patrick Ross, career fairs and workshops for families.

Both Campbell and Ross are back for repeat events after enthralling students in past years with their music and messages of resilience and inspiration.

“GEAR UP Week is a great way to kick off the school year with a celebration that brings the entire school community together and focuses on students’ future potential and possibilities,” said Dianne Griggs, director of GEAR UP  at VSAC.

GEAR UP, or Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, is a federal grant program of the U.S. Department of Education designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education.

In Vermont, VSAC’s GEAR UP outreach counselors work with more than 3,000 middle and high school students one-on-one, in small groups and in classrooms in schools across the state. GEAR UP also provides support to parents, which includes high school and college planning information, assistance with college and financial aid applications, and career planning information for their children.

In addition to the academic and career programming, when these GEAR UP students continue their education after high school, they are eligible to receive an annual $1,000 scholarship for up to four years of schooling.

About VSAC – Changing Lives through Education and Training since 1965

Vermont Student Assistance Corporation is a public, nonprofit agency established by the Vermont Legislature in 1965 to help Vermonters achieve their education and training goals after high school. VSAC serves students and their families in grades 7-12, as well as adults returning to school, by providing education and career planning services, need-based grants, scholarships and education loans. VSAC has awarded more than $600 million in grants and scholarships for Vermont students, and also administers Vermont’s 529 college savings plan. Share your VSAC story by email to or submit a video to YouTube. Find us at or check in on Facebook and Twitter. #changing lives