It's important to let others know that GEAR UP works


Our goal is to expand the GEAR UP program so that at least one million students can benefit from the remarkable work of GEAR UP. But we can't do it without you. Take a moment to send a message to your Representatives and Senators about the critical difference GEAR UP is making in your community.


We want to build champions for GEAR UP at your school, in your community, across the state and nationwide who can help promote and sustain GEAR UP and other college readiness programs.

Oregon GEAR UP is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. GEAR UP has bipartisan support in Congress, but it’s critical that Oregon's representatives know that GEAR UP works and that the program has a positive effect on your community, your school and your students.

Who do we need to tell?

Oregon's Congressional representatives, but also local and state elected officials including the school board, city council and the mayor, local media, current and potential partners in your community, potential funders, your students, parents and your community. Get others on board and then let them do the talking!

GEAR UP grantees are prohibited from using federal funds to engage in lobbying. That means you may not request increases in GEAR UP funding or discuss current funding levels with elected officials. However, you may share the impact of your program and thank them for their support.

What do we need to say?

Tell a story about the impact of GEAR UP on your school and specific students (remember to use data!) Let others know how GEAR UP is good for students, the economy, and their own interests.


  • In Person: Invite elected officials and other stakeholders to attend events, or serve as guest speakers or judges for a competition. Alternatively, visit distict offices of Congressional representatives.
  • Phone: Call the offices of representatives and ask to speak to the aide in charge of education.
  • Mail: Write postcards or letters, or create a collage or thank you card from students.
  • Online: Connect with elected officials, partners and other stakeholders online and on social media. Use the hashtag #GEARUPworks on social media to connect your school's efforts with GEAR UP programs across the country.

See our Communications Toolkit for more information on methods and how to talk to elected officials.


All the time, anytime. However, here are some key times to share your successes:

  • National GEAR UP Week, September 25-29, 2023: Join GEAR UP programs across the country in celebrating the impact and importance of college and career readiness. Use our toolkit for activity ideas as well as NCCEP's templates to request a proclamation, send a press relase or have students write a letter to Congress.
  • Events: Hosting a Career Fair, Parent Night or other event? Invite elected officials, media and partners to attend and see firsthand the impact of GEAR UP.
  • Classes/Clubs: Engage students in writing postcards telling their stories, calling or visiting their representatives during a Civics or Government class or as part of ASB responsibilties.
Have questions or need help? Contact Stephanie.