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Two La Pine Students Chosen to Represent Oregon in Washington, D.C.


Julianne Repman, Communications Manager, Bend La Pine Schools: julianne.repman@bend.k12.or.us; 541-355-1003

Stephanie Carnahan, GEAR UP Project Director: stephanie_carnahan@ous.edu; 541-346-5761)

Colton Mullings and Louden Oleachea headed to National Youth Conference

La Pine,OR – May 21, 2012:  Two La Pine students, Colton Mullings from La Pine High School and Louden Oleachea from La Pine Middle School, have been selected to represent Oregon GEAR UP at the upcoming national Youth Congress in Washington, D.C. Both students are participants in Oregon’s GEAR UP program (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) which works to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education, either at a community college or a 4-year college or university.

Oregon has been the recipient of the federal GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) grant since 2008. La Pine is one of 22 communities across the state receiving funding and support to implement community-specific plans to create a college-going culture, starting in the 7th grade and continuing through high school graduation, which focuses on academic and other types of preparation for college.

The National Council for Community and Education Partnerships organizes the national GEAR UP conference every summer, and with generous support from Texas Instruments this year they have added the Youth Congress. The Congress is a youth leadership program that implements a student-focused curriculum, blending leadership development with life skills and strategies for increased learning. GEAR UP youth who participate in the Youth Congress will gain new experiences participating in a professional conference, and will interact and learn with other students from around the country. The students will also learn to be advocates for their schools and communities, and will participate with their GEAR UP Program in visits with their U.S. Representatives on Capitol Hill

“Colton and Louden are bright and shining examples of the students who GEAR UP is serving,” said Stephanie Carnahan, GEAR UP director. “We are thrilled to be able to offer them this once in a lifetime opportunity. The Congress will bring together students from around the country for this high-impact event that will teach them leadership and communication skills as well as how to be advocates for their schools and communities.”

Matt Montgomery, assistant principal of La Pine High School said, “Colton has been a very positive and active member of GEAR UP at La Pine High.  I’ve been impressed by his sincere enthusiasm around the purpose and focus of GEAR UP on our campus.  Colton hasn’t limited his involvement to just GEAR UP; he’s involved in many outside activities, for example, competing at the State Competition with Future Business Leaders of America.  Colton is an excellent choice to represent GEAR UP, La Pine, and the State of Oregon in Washington, D.C. this summer.”    

Jim Boen, La Pine Middle School principal said, “I’m excited to have Louden participate in this year’s Youth Congress leadership program.  He is thrilled to have been selected and I am confident that he will represent our school well at this national event.  I can’t wait to see how he will use this experience and the resulting training to inspire his classmates and bring new leadership knowledge to La Pine High School next fall.”  

When asked about this opportunity Colton remarked, “It’s a great leadership opportunity and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to meet new people and network with them”. Louden’s response was “Awesome,” grinning from ear to ear with both his dimples showing. 

For more information: Oregon GEAR UP, National Council for Community and Education Partnerships

Oregon GEAR UP is a federally-funded program designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enroll and succeed in college. The program is administered by the Oregon University System.

Oregon University System (OUS) comprises seven distinguished public universities, reaching more than one million people each year through on-campus classes, statewide public services and lifelong learning.

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