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Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs

If you’re a student, parent, guardian or educator, you can increase college and career readiness with GEAR UP East Hartford, a federally-funded grant program that helps empower local students to think beyond what they see today. GEAR UP CT provides the tools, resources and programs to help students starting as early as middle school to increase their success in education.

Through GEAR UP, we currently serve the class of 2025 at East Hartford High School and CIBA (Connecticut IB Academy)

GEAR UP is...

A partnership program between Connecticut State Colleges & Universities, East Hartford High School, CIBA and CT State Manchester to support current 11th graders. We aim to increase the number of students prepared for and ready to succeed in college!


Get support and advice on how to help your student succeed in high school, and in their pursuits after high school graduation.


• Academic Support Services
• PSAT & SAT Prep
• After School Programing
• Financial Literacy & Advising
• Social-Emotional Support
• Summer Programs
• Family Engagement
• College and Career Exposure
• Rigorous Course Preparation
• First Year College Support


Scholarship opportunities will be made available upon successful completion of the program & completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). GEAR UP will help you find local, national, and sponsored scholarships based on your individual needs.

GEAR UP CT - East Hartford “Young Men Mentoring Program”

The GEAR UP CT-East Hartford Mentoring Program/Job Shadow Event offered the opportunity to student mentees on Thursday, March 28, 2024, to visit onsite with their mentors at Dilligence Training in East Hartford. As part of the college & career learning through GEAR UP, students met with Dilligence Training owners and staff to learn more about becoming an athletic trainer and running a business as an entrepreneur. They learn through GEAR UP how to connect careers to postsecondary awareness through the CSCU/CT State system. GEAR UP CT elevates the work and supports many state initiatives through local programming for students with male mentoring being an important area to keep young men of color in school, on-track to graduate and achieving their dreams.

Business owners Devonte Dillion and Terrell Huff grew up together, went to school together and now are business owners who manage and operate Dilligence Training ("DT") in East Hartford. GU young men participate in the "Male Mentoring Program" through Dilligence Training under GEAR UP CT-East Hartford. Mentees and Mentors meet twice a week afterschool to offer an environment for young male students of color to connect with leaders and coaches alike. Through this mentoring program students have learned how to build positive relationships with adults and peers, be accountable for their actions, and incorporate respectful behaviors. Through this mentoring program, the young men in GEAR UP are learning to lead lives filled with leadership, empowerment, advocacy and to remain resilient through difficulties they often face in/out of school. Dilligence Training has created opportunities for the GEAR UP students to learn about living a healthy lifestyle through eating healthy and how to create a wellness plan that supports them in developing social emotional connections. During the site visit, GEAR UP mentees learned about standard operations with opening the facility each day, overseeing personal training sessions, marketing/video operations, and learned how to make healthy protein shakes in the Vita Lab.

During the career awareness visit, GEAR UP students met with East Hartford Mayor Connor Martin; GEAR UP CT Project Director Christina Lapierre; Harry Amadasum, Jr. East Hartford Town Councilor; John Morrison, East Hartford Town Councilor; and spoke on camera to Nkwa Asonye of WFSB - Channel 3 Eyewitness News.  

To learn more about Dilligence Training: www.Dilligencetraining.com
Darchelle Hutchins, GU EH Local Program Coordinator; Lesley Mara, AVP Systemwide Initiatives and Sponsored Programs • Academic & Student Affairs; Marisol Salaman, GU CT Fiscal Manager; Jennifer Allen, GEAR UP Wtby Grant Compliance Officer; Michael Savage, GU EH CCR Coordinator
What a team at the April 20 media event at Platt High School in Meriden, CT:    Scott Burrell, NBA Champion; Christina Lapierre, State Program Director for GEAR UP CT; Fatima Islam, GEARUP student; Alice Pritchard from CSCU, and NCAA and WNBA Champion Morgan Tuck.

What a team at the April 19 media event at Platt High School in Meriden, CT:    Scott Burrell, NBA Champion;Christina Lapierre, State Program Director for GearUP CT; Fatima Islam, GEARUP student; Alice Pritchard from CSCU, and NCAA and WNBA Champion Morgan Tuck.

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