GEAR UP Iowa Conference Recap

Recap of the 2018 GEAR UP Iowa Conference.

GEAR UP Iowa: Becoming Future Proof

Thank you to GEAR UP Iowa schools and partners for attending this year's GEAR UP Iowa conference on February 27-28 in West Des Moines. 

Conference Recap


Keynote, Joshua Barr

Preparing the Next Generation to Become Future Proof

Joshua is the Director of the Civil & Human Rights Department for the City of Des Moines. With the Civil & Human Rights Commission, Joshua works to eliminate and prevent discrimination in the areas of employment, housing, municipal practices and public accommodations in order to make Des Moines a model city. 

Watch the presentation here.

Workshop, Jonathan Douglas

Disrupting the School to Prison Pipeline

Jonathan Douglas is a program coordinator and career coach for the Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families. This workshop focuses on moving from a deficit-based to a strengths-based model to disrupt the school to prison pipeline and its influence on poverty and intergenerational transmission. The information presented transforms our general understanding of this subject into concrete information and strategies that will help us put this knowledge into practice. 

Watch the presentation here.

Workshop, Sonia Reyes-Snyder & Jennifer Ulie-Wells

When In-School Discipline Doesn't Work

Sonia Reyes-Snyder, Office of Latino Affairs at the Iowa Department of Human Rights and Jennifer Ulie-Wells explore and brainstorm different and innovative ways to address behavioral concerns with students. 

View the PowerPoint presentation here

Workshop, Keyli Keifer & Jamie Covell

Helping Students Get to College with Course to College and Americorps
Learn about Iowa College Aid's Course to College & Corps programs, which include five initiatives and volunteer programming to help your students get to college. We'll walk through each initiative and demonstrate how we are using our AmeriCorps group to assist schools with implementation. Initiatives include Early Awareness, College Application Campaign, FAFSA Completion, College Decision Day and Summer Transition.

View the PowerPoint presentation here.

Workshop, David Walderr & Kent Dymak

How to Offer Your Free ACT Prep Program through GEAR UP Iowa
Cambridge Educational Services is partnering with GEAR UP Iowa to bring a free ACT program to your school customized to your needs. Learn to take advantage of this core skills enrichment and ACT preparation program opportunity.  Learn to integrate this program to support your existing programs, school objectives and programming. GEAR UP and school administrators are welcome to sign their students up to receive a free diagnostic practice test, begin skill-building with Cambridge Essential Skills in the lower grades and begin advanced test-taking strategies using free books, teacher curriculum and online resources.

View the PowerPoint presentation here.

Workshop, Alyssa Park

College Greenlight
College Greenlight is a free college and scholarship match tool designed for first-generation and underrepresented high school students and their counselors. Learn how to use College Greenlight to support your GEAR UP students find their best fit school and discover local scholarship opportunities.

View the PowerPoint presentation here.

Workshop, Carrie Romo

Diverse Learners: It's not them, it's us!

For years, we have spent much of our time talking about how youth are different and how to meet their needs. What if the solution to reaching diverse learners lies within the educators/mentors/advisors who serve them? This workshop will engage the audience in taking an inside-out approach to reaching and serving diverse learners. The solution to being future proof is understanding ourselves and how we show up to serve youth! Carrie Romo works for Des Moines Public Schools.

View the PowerPoint presentation here.

Keynote, Julio Cammarota

From Hopelessness to Hope: Social Justice in Education and Youth Development

Julio Cammarota is an associate professor of multicultural education at Iowa State University.  Dr. Cammarota discusses the social justice youth development (SJYD) model conceptualized to facilitate and enhance young people's awareness of their personal potential, community responsibility and broader humanity. The SJYD requires the healing of youth identities by involving them in social justice activities that counter oppressive conditions preventing healthy self-identification. Youth draw from and cultivate their funds of knowledge to create social justice actions that allow for the appreciation and expectation of determining one’s own worth, value, and potential.  

Watch the presentation here.


Keynote, David Ford

Future-Proofing Iowa: Is It Really All That Necessary?

There is a lot of information swirling around Iowa that just does not seem to make sense: No. 1 high school graduation rate and among the lowest unemployment rates; U.S. News ranks Iowa in the top 5 for best states to live and work; Forbes ranks Iowa among the top places for quality of life and business opportunities. So what's all the fuss about? This session will highlight the inequity in these numbers and the role that GEAR UP schools can play to forever change the life trajectory for their students.

Watch the presentation here.

View the PowerPoint presentation here

View photos and tweets from this year's conference here.