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Name: Brent Caulley
School: McKenzie High School
Positions: GEAR UP Coordinator, Parenting Class Teacher, Middle School Track Coach
College Alma Mater: Lane Community College, AAS in Multimedia Production and Northwest Christian University, BAS Christian Ministry
Fun Fact: I lived in Africa from age four to eighteen. I spent five years in Zambia and nine years in South Africa.
Because of GEAR UP, many students have been able to bridge what was the immeasurable divide between them and their dreams and have been able to realize all it will take to achieve the life they desire.
Describe an aspect of your educational journey.
I was told that I needed to study graphic art all through high school. When I moved to the United States after high school, my high school Matriculation (the South African equivalent to a diploma) was rejected by most four year colleges I applied to. With very little guidance I applied to and tested my way into Lane Community College and, like many college students, discovered that the degree I was directed to was not what interested me most. In the end I graduated with a Multimedia Production degree and worked in that field for a season.
Share one way that GEAR UP has made a difference in your school or community.
When I first heard of GEAR UP my seventh grade daughter was in the program and I knew that this was something our community needed. I had been working with teens through my church for over five years at that time and knew that too many were not ready for the future that lay ahead of them unlike teens I had worked with in more affluent urban areas. I had wanted to help them more in this aspect of their life and even felt like I was failing them by not talking about it enough. When approached about heading up GEAR UP the next year I knew that it was something that I cared about enough to start. Now in our third year, the cultural difference in attitude towards higher education has greatly changed and is the most impressive in our first cohort class.