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?Baltimore, MD – (July 9, 2018) – Maryland Higher Education Secretary Dr. James D. Fielder today announced that the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) awarded more than $80,000 to two Maryland higher education institutions that are working with disadvantaged youth to help them plan for college.

The awards will benefit low-income communities under the Maryland Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) Leadership Development Program (LDP), which supports the advance of leadership curricula, plans, and activities to prepare students for college and career readiness. This six-year federal grant program (2014-2020), sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, is designed to help students understand their core values, leadership skills, strengths, and goal-setting for future career plans through self-discovery and career exploration projects, comprehensive mentoring, and project leadership and management workshops.
The Maryland GEAR UP program instills knowledge and delivers services to ensure that low income and underrepresented students are college and career ready. It is a rigorous academic program of studies to develop the instrumental skills needed to apply/enroll in college, obtain financial aid, and complete postsecondary education. The program focuses on two core academic areas, English/Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics. GEAR UP districts include Baltimore City, Dorchester, and Wicomico counties.
Maryland two-and four-year institutions were eligible to apply and partner with LEAs for the grant. The following two institutions were awarded for the 2018 funding cycle:
· Johns Hopkins University – $44,526.26
· University of Maryland, College Park – $43,099.99