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From Dateline (October 28, 2004)

Grant Multiplies Possibilities For GEAR UP Students

Anaheim High School senior women participating in Cal State Fullerton’s GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program), will have opportunities to further enhance their mathematics skills, thanks to a $46,253 grant awarded to David L. Pagni, professor of mathematics, and Silas H. Abrego, associate vice president for student affairs.

The grant, funded by the SBC Foundation, was awarded by the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships’ 2004 Promoting Excellence and Innovation in Education Grant Program.

“The SBC grant,” says Pagni, “will allow us to extend GEAR UP intervention to include the Project MISS [Mathematics, Intensive Summer Session] program for students who are ready to take pre-calculus as seniors, and to incorporate individual follow up of students in preparation for matriculating to a university.

”Fifty-seven young women – most of whom are from Anaheim High – took part in Project MISS over the summer. Throughout the school year, these women, in addition to their Anaheim High female classmates, are having one-on-one contacts with a program coordinator, as well as receiving information and counseling on transcript evaluation, financial assistance, college applications and plans, test preparation and parent involvement programs.

GEAR UP has been following Anaheim High’s senior class since it began seventh grade at Sycamore Junior High School. The program advocates partnerships between colleges and middle schools in low-income communities to help raise expectations and ensure successful college entry.

Now in its 14th year, Project MISS is a four-week summer program designed to encourage young women to pursue careers in science and math. The long-range goal, according to Pagni, is to narrow the gender and ethnic gap that exists for careers in science, mathematics and engineering. The short-term goal is to address the needs of female high school students who are college bound and succeeding in all course work except math.