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Shaheen, Hassan & Shea-Porter Announce $1.6M to Prepare Manchester Students for Postsecondary Education

(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) announced a Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) grant for $1,572,534 per year over the next seven years to the New Hampshire College & University Council to provide services to increase the number of low income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. This grant will fund GEAR UP programming for Manchester students beginning in the sixth and seventh grades for seven years, serving 1,967 students per year.

“A college education is often the gateway to the middle class, yet many students experience significant hurdles to achieving the dream of a college degree,” said Shaheen, who advocated for this funding as a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “I am thrilled to announce this grant for the New Hampshire College & University Council and the city of Manchester, which will provide comprehensive, data-driven programming for middle and high school students that prepares them for postsecondary success. By collaborating with school and community leadership, prioritizing family engagement and providing financial support, the GEAR UP program will serve many hundreds of Manchester middle and high school students. I’ll continue fighting for resources to support the next generation of college students.”

“We should give more young people the tools to pursue and succeed in postsecondary education,” said Hassan, a member of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee. “Community stakeholders, led by the New Hampshire College & University Council, are pursuing innovative strategies through GEAR UP Manchester to help expand opportunity for lower-income students. This grant will help support those critical efforts and ensure that all our students have the resources they need to succeed.”

“Too many middle and high school students struggle to access the support they need to help them prepare for secondary and higher education,” said Shea-Porter, a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. “By funding innovative approaches and traditional teaching supports, this GEAR UP grant from the US Department of Education will help current sixth- and seventh-graders throughout their time in Manchester’s schools to be better prepared for the next steps in their education. Congratulations to the City of Manchester, the New Hampshire College and University Council, and all those who partnered to design the GEAR UP Manchester program. This grant will help give these children a bright future.”

“In Manchester, we’re striving to set all of our students up for success,” said Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig.  “GEAR UP will help us increase student achievement by engaging our students in the learning process early on and preparing them to succeed at the next level. I want to thank our federal delegation and the New Hampshire College & University Council for recognizing the potential in Manchester and delivering this significant funding. With GEAR UP, many more of our students can achieve some form of education and training beyond high school. I look forward to continuing to work with our incredible partners to create new opportunities for our students, parents and educators.”

“The New Hampshire College and University Council, Campus Compact NH and our member schools are committed to helping New Hampshire school children of all backgrounds prepare for college and careers in New Hampshire,” said New Hampshire College & University Council President, Mike Vlacich. “This GEAR UP grant will serve a transformative role in how Manchester students, schools and families learn and prepare for college.  We thank Mayor Craig, Superintendent Vargas, and our Congressional delegation for their steadfast support of the GEAR UP program and our efforts in the North Country and now Manchester.