The following is a compilation of collected student comments about their experience at the Gear Up Synergy Summit in March of 2019. Only the introductory paragraph is commentary from the staff.
To Whom It May Concern,
I attended the GEAR UP Synergy Summit on March 7, 2019 with 110 of my Harrisonburg High School peers. I wanted to share some of the things that I learned during the Summit.
In all truth, I thought this was going to be boring, but it wasn’t! The day totally exceeded my expectations. The community was welcoming, fun, and brought great people to us. I got connected with people I haven’t seen in a while. I was able to grow and learn about college and what I need to do to be ready. It was a great honest environment with great energy and people weren’t scared to talk. I loved being treated like a college student or like an adult. I felt valued.
The opening speaker really had us motivated and interactive. The speakers were so engaging.
The stories were relatable. The variety of breakout sessions and big group sessions was awesome. The messages the mentors and others sent to us really empowered me and others around me.
I loved the games and how they metaphorically represent life. I learned more about applying for college. The games and being vulnerable was very fun and beneficial. The input from the college students really helped me learn new perspectives. I wanted to get to all the speakers and workshops. The sessions were informative and lightened the stress of college, yet gave useful and real information.
GPA isn’t the only thing that defines you. I thought GPA was what others look at, but your story is important too. It made me think about WHY I do things. Do things I love, not what I think I should do in school.
It was good to hear personal, real stories. I liked that there were stories of successful people. It was very interesting to see how everyone has their own story. I feel so MOTIVATED. Failures aren’t bad. Failures don’t define you. Failures can shape me. Failure is how you become successful. Just because you a failing a semester does not mean you are going to fail the rest of your life. People around me fail just like me.
This was a very positive and uplifting day. I am a bolder, stronger person and I need to do things for myself. After today I felt accepted. Always keep going, because you never know what it can bring you. People don’t care about the what, they care about the why. No barrier is too big to overcome, some might just take longer than others to complete. There is only one today, so live your life the way you want to.
The knowledge and stories I gained from the experience were inspirational. The experiences were eye opening. The sessions gave me a real world perspective. I gained more self esteem and confidence. I gained more insight on how to develop strategies to overcome my barriers. Some of my worries were lifted. After today I felt accepted. It’s okay to fail. Always keep going, because you never know what it can bring you. I can overcome any barrier in my way. I walked away more hopeful. I feel prepared for my FUTURE!
I loved every second of today and learned so much. I really liked this experience and hope it can be expanded to not just GEAR UP. I would DEFINITELY recommend this to every GEAR UP student.
The 2019 GEAR UP Synergy Summit Students
Synergy Summit partnered with the Harrisonburg High School GEAR UP, a US Department of Education grant designed to significantly increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. 100+ students gathered with Synergy Thought Leaders for a day long experience focusing on empowerment, identity, and story.
These organizations have created or added Synergy Leadership Summits to their programs to engage their leaders. We thank them for trusting us!!