Name: Katarina Smith
School: Rogue River Jr./Sr. High School
Position: GEAR UP Coordinator / College Dreams College and Career Preparation Specialist
College Alma Mater: Western Oregon University
Fun Fact: My favorite thing to do at work is to create bulletin boards that focus on either colleges, careers, or skill-building. I hope students and families get something out of the information I provide, but even if they don’t I have way too much fun designing them! 

Bulletin board with admission deadlines
One of Katarina's creative and informative bulletin boards.

Describe an aspect of your educational journey: I was never really sure what career to pursue and changed majors and schools frequently throughout my college journey. Although I ended up with my B.S. in Economics (and really do love studying consumer and business behavior) it wasn’t until I worked as a Resident Assistant my senior year that I discovered a passion for serving students. 

Share one way that GEAR UP has made a difference in your school.
Because of GEAR UP, I get to support students in a way that I never really had myself. There wasn’t a college and career center and limited opportunities to explore postsecondary options. Now my students get to see what colleges and career areas are out there and build a plan that matches their goals, needs, and abilities.