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                          The Bronx Institute at Lehman College • Bronx GEAR UP Network
              Get to know the Bronx GEAR UP Network Staff!
The Bronx GEAR UP Network (BGUN) is staffed by an impressive group of educators—Academic College Readiness Coaches (ACRCs). Recruited from the public and private sectors, these professionals have dedicated their lives to improving academic outcomes and providing high-quality services to the communities of New York City.
Students receive specialized attention from ACRCs at each school. They emphasize the importance of a “college-going culture” and are well-equipped to answer questions from students, families, and teachers about standardized tests, student portfolios, and college applications, as BGUN students begin to consider their next steps, to college and beyond.
Academic College Readiness Coach
Laura works with students at New World High School and The Bronx School for Law, Govern- ment and Justice. She assists students with financial aid materials, test preparation, col- lege admissions, and other topics. She also fa- cilitates the New York Botanical Garden Internship Program.
Why GEAR UP? “GEAR UP’s mission is to prepare stu- dents for college. Many students don’t have the opportunity to ex- plore colleges and find the right fit for them. By working with GEAR UP, I can help our students go to college and have a great life.
Academic College Readiness Coach
Kimberlee works with students at CIMS and Pelham Prep. She helps students develop inter- ests in different careers and college majors and minors, as well as skills in time management. She is also knowledgable about the different schools in the City University of New York (CUNY) and State University of New York (SUNY) systems. Kimberlee is our main liaison with the Bronx Zoo/Wildlife Conservation Society.
Why GEAR UP? “When I was in high school, I didn’t want to apply for college. It was just so confusing. However, a GEAR UP counselor sat down with me and helped me understand what to do and why I should apply. She gave me individual help that I wasn’t getting, because my school counselor was busy with the rest of my class. If it wasn’t for her, I would have never gone to college and become the person I am today. Being part of the GEAR UP program gives me the ability to give back and help students who are in the same position I was back then.”
Kia has a diverse set of experiences across a variety of sectors, including both public and private schools. She is working with stu-
Why GEAR UP? “When I was working for the Department of Education, I was mostly doing attendance and transcripts. I didn’t feel like I had the ability to creatively work with students and build a one-on-one relationship. When I learned about GEAR UP, I felt like ÚÚÚthe program model matched my goal to help guide students to their postsecondary education. I also enjoy the ability to work with different groups of students and do more of what I was taught, while still collaborating with the DOE.”
MACK dents at Fordham School for the Arts, West
Academic College Readiness Coach
Bronx Academy for the Future, and Knowl- edge and Power Preparatory Academy. Kia is in charge of BGUN’s Summer Academy and our partnership with The American Museum of Natural History.
Academic College Readiness Coach
Janill works in BGUN’s High-Potential Achievers program, a weekly enrichment program that pro- vides advanced instruction and encourages stu- dents to pursue more challenging opportunities. She graduated with a B.A. in psychology from CCNY, and a Master’s degree in psychology from the University of Connecticut. She also organizes our residential programs with Brown University, Harvard University, and Columbia University.
Why GEAR UP? “I didn’t join GEAR UP blindly. I conducted the observations and student focus groups. I have seen hundreds of focus groups, but I still remember the ones from the GEAR UP program two years later. The maturity level and determination of the GEAR UP students were outstanding, and it showed me the good that the GEAR UP program does. I hope that the students’ experience in this program will bridge the gap between the services that are available in their school and the skills that they need to succeed in their higher education and beyond.”
Academic College Readiness Coach
Elaine works with the Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music. Elaine is also responsible for digital communication providing information to students on financial aid, college and careers, stress management and study skills. Additionally, she works with parent coordinators at schools to provide college access information to Bronx GEAR UP Network families.
Why GEAR UP? As a member of the GEAR UP team, I have seen the benefits of academic and college readiness programs first hand. I am proud to see the excitement in student’s eyes when they realize their own potential. Helping students achieve their goals is what GEAR UP is all about.
 The Bronx Institute Bronx GEAR UP Network

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