Stars Gear-up students learn leadership skills
Two of Sanpete County’s high school students, who participate in STARS GEAR-Up, a program in local middle and high schools designed to prepare students for college, traveled to Washington, D.C. during July where they participated in a leadership training program with 150 GEAR-UP youth from around the country.
K’Leigh Halliday of Gunnison Valley High School and Caitlin Tippetts of Manti High School were selected from more than 1,000 applicants.
Both Halliday and Tippets have been a part STARS GEAR UP (Science, Technology, Arithmetic and Reading Students Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), sponsored by Utah State University, since seventh grade.
STARS GEAR-UP is a federally funded program designed to prepare students in low-income areas to go to college. The program begins in seventh grade and follows participants through their first year of college.
K’Leigh and Caitlin spent the first three days of the trip participating in leadership activities from about 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. They spent the next two days touring Washington, D.C. They said their favorite destinations included Ford’s Theater, The Petersen House (where Lincoln died) and Lincoln’s Waffle Shop, where, according to legend, Lincoln was a regular customer.
Caitlin said the main thing she learned at the leadership summit was that she doesn’t need to worry about what people think of her. “I can get rid of ‘fimage’, which is a fear of image,” she said.