La Pine High School students visit Blue Mountain Community College.

About the school

La Pine High School, La Pine, Oregon

  • 478 students in grades 9-12
  • 61% free/reduced lunch
  • 12% students of color
  • Participated in GEAR UP from 2008-2014 and 2014-2021

GEAR UP highlights

La Pine alumni smiling during Meet a College Student

La Pine High School alumni return each year to share their experiences with students.

  • College Alumni Panel: One of our favorite GEAR UP activities is definitely “Meet a College Student” day. We invite alumni to come talk to our students about their experiences in college. We always have a large number of alumni who want to come back and present. It is fun to hear the college students talk about all of their experiences both good and bad and it is touching to see how much they have grown through those experiences. After the presentations we invite all of the staff to have lunch with our alumni and it is always a highlight for all involved.
  • Alumni College Visits: We have been able to visit our alumni at their college campuses and take students for campus visits, from Eastern Oregon University to Pacific University and many in between. We are able to catch up with alumni in their environment, and show our current students a new environment. It is a great chance for the alumni to have a safe person to talk to about their struggles, growth, and wins. It is also wonderful to hear the excitement in the students that have experienced a college campus for the first time.  

The impact of GEAR UP

Graph showing La Pine students know more entrance requirements for colleges over time

When the program started it was an amazing opportunity for our students. GEAR UP has given our students the opportunity to shift from a workforce mindset into considering more post-secondary options. The grant allowed us to take college visits, hold an annual Career Fair for students to explore all different kinds of career opportunities and to create much-needed classes such as Freshmen Academy, Careers, and Living on Your Own. These have now been integrated and funded by our district. All of this has culminated to creating career interest and post-secondary support for our students that was not available before the grant.

Because of GEAR UP, La Pine High School has been able to give students opportunities that would have never been possible. It has opened doors, created growth, and supported our graduates to strive to be the best that they can be.

GEAR UP has created positive thinking and support for our students in so many ways. There are many success stories and so many students that stand out from the support of GEAR UP; one of our students had decided early into their freshmen year of school that college was too expensive and that they were going to go straight into a workforce career.  After taking our Careers class, they realized that they could afford a post-secondary education, and jumped in feet first to the world of college. This student, like so many others, thrived at Oregon State University and was successful in graduating and attaining a well-paying career. These are the types of stories we have had an opportunity to hear due to the support of GEAR UP at our school.

What has helped your school be successful in implementing GEAR UP?

La Pine staff visit alumni at college

Members of the La Pine High School GEAR UP Team visit alumni at Pacific University.

Successful implementation of GEAR UP is two-fold:

  1. We have a very supportive administration. They have always allowed us to introduce new programs, take the time to educate the staff about what GEAR UP is about, and as we work on sustaining our programs, they have allotted us money to continue the work that GEAR UP started.
  2. Our GEAR UP Team is FANTASTIC! Every year we bring a full team to the SUCCESS Retreat and get great ideas from breakouts and networking. Our team meets throughout the school year and we work together to carry out the items on our plan. We feel truly fortunate to have such support and successful implementation.

Contributed by Danielle Patrick & Bridgit Montgomery, GEAR UP coordinators