The Gear Up grant was awarded to Sumter School District for the Class of 2024 in 2018. The College Support Specialists began working with the class of 2024 in 7th grade, and will continue to provide support and services to prepare them for academic success, high school graduation, college acceptance, and through the freshman year of college.

SHS Gamecock Gear Up College Support Specialist Team:

Audrika Gadson 

Earned a bachelor’s degree at Charleston Southern University, and a master’s degree from Troy University. She has 5 years of experience teaching high school mathematics. As part of the Gear Up grant, her goal is to inform and educate students on different post-secondary educational opportunities. She is very passionate about building relationships with her students and their families.

Cynthia McDuffie

Earned a bachelor’s degree at USC in psychology, is certified in Career Development, and Project Based Learning, and has over 15 years of experience in career counseling, including higher education. She is excited about the opportunity to help students achieve their dreams and prepare for post-secondary education.

Michelle Davis Parker

Earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from South Carolina State University and was commissioned as an Officer in the U.S. Army Reserve. She has twenty-five years of experience in business and community service, as well as five years teaching in the computer lab at Lemira Elementary. Now, being part of the Gear Up Team, her goal is to use all of her resources, knowledge, and abilities to help motivate students and families to reach their goals.


GEAR UP
Gaining 
Early 
Awareness and 
Readiness for
Undergraduate 
Programs 

We are asking all 9th grade parents only! To please join the Class of 2024 Band app! This app will contain all virtual links for upcoming events. We will also post reminders about upcoming events and school programs.


Novel pickup for freshman assigned The Pearl by John Steinbeck will be:

Monday – Friday, March 9 – 19, in the front office from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Thursday, March 11, curbside pickup from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.


March 2021 Dates to Remember

Þ March 10: Erskin College 1pm

Þ March 11 Gear Up Parent Night

Þ March 13  and March 20 College Virtual Fair – MUST REGISTER

We are excited to inform you that despite the pandemic, we are still offering our annual scholarship and college fairs. We’ve partnered with the tech team for Ted Talk to offer this event virtually this year to ensure the safety of all participants. We have two dates scheduled, March 13th and March 20th. Registration is currently open for educators, parents, and students across the country. These events are open to students from eighth grade through graduate school, as we encourage all students that it’s never too early or too late to apply for scholarships.

The event on March 13th will consist of colleges/universities and scholarship organizations from across SC, as well as national organizations. This is also the opportunity for your students to participate in our awesome breakout sessions. We target topics like:

  • How to Be Successful as a First-Generation College Student
  • Writing Winning Scholarship Essays
  • Acing the SAT/ACT
  • How to Create Your Resume
  • Navigating through the NCAA Clearinghouse
  • Soft Skills
  • How to Create a Winning Success Resume

The event on March 20th will only feature national scholarship organizations, in addition to similar breakout sessions, as referenced above. Many of our followers are registered for both events because there is a lot of information to cover in each event. We are hosting our own scholarship essay contest to award multiple students with scholarships. In addition, we will also offer multiple laptops, printers, gift cards, and scholarship book giveaways.

If you are interested in registering your group, we can send you a group registration spreadsheet and invoice to easily register your students. The cost this year is $5.00 per person. In addition to covering the costs to be able to set up each event, access will, unfortunately, be limited to not exceed the capacity of the virtual platform. As such, the fee is to ensure commitment from those that are registering online, so everyone that is interested has the opportunity to attend. We also use proceeds from our events to support the scholarships and many door prizes. Each registered educator, parent, and student will receive a unique login that they can use to access the event(s) from home. Please share this flyer on your social media platforms. You can also email us if you have any additional questions and/or would like the group registration spreadsheet to get the process started. We hope to see your students there!

Þ March 17 UNC Chapel Hill Virtual Tour 11am

Þ March 18 FAFSA Night Virtual

Þ March 18 Monthly Parent Meeting. 7pm Virtual

Þ March 25 College CACRAO Fair 5pm to 7:45pm

Þ March 29 Paint Night virtual 7pm

Students can report the school on Thursday March 25 and Friday March 26 to pick up Paint supplies.

March 31 Clemson University 1pm: Virtual