Majalise Tolan (second from left) and some of her incredible staff at Taft 7-12 in Lincoln City.

Name: Majalise Tolan
School:  Taft 7-12
Position: Principal
College: Eastern Oregon University
Fun fact: I have four kids and plan to attend a major league baseball game in every single stadium.
Describe an aspect of your educational journey. My parents and coaches helped me apply to college. My college softball coach, now Eastern Oregon University Director of Athletics Anji Weissenfluh, was instrumental in helping me learn to live on my own and graduate from college while working two jobs and playing softball. Above all, she taught the team that education is the single most important reason why we attend school. I would get so frustrated when she made us attend tutoring sessions or would cancel practice for team study sessions. Looking back, I could not have made it without her guiding my learning and instilling that hard work and dedication are necessary to achieve individual and group goals.

Because of GEAR UP, I get to experience the joy students and parents have when they realize they can chase their dreams with a plan.

The impact of GEAR UP: GEAR UP has been a gateway for increasing parent and community involvement in our schools. Activities like Pizza With a Professional, college visits, and parent nights have all helped increase our community awareness about the importance of creating personal options through post-secondary education.