Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) will host nearly 2,000 high school seniors from Anderson, Campbell, Claiborne, Grainger and Union counties as they kick off their senior year with the GEAR UP TN program at 10 a.m. on Sept. 8.
The day-long event will feature a keynote address from US Paralympic Medalist Patrick “Blake” Leeper, a college fair, admissions and financial aid information sessions and student activities.
Leeper will share his personal story of setting goals and overcoming obstacles on and off the track. A native of Kingsport, Tennessee, Leeper was born without legs due to a congenital birth defect. He attended the University of Tennessee before going on to train with the U.S. Paralympics Track and Field program in 2010. A two-time world record holder and an eight-time medalist, he is one of the most decorated Paralympic track and field athletes in the world.
In addition to Leeper, participants will also hear from Mike Krause, executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, and Dr. Jody Goins, assistant vice president for academic support services at LMU.
GEAR UP TN has worked with the Class of 2018 since seventh grade, providing academic support, college access events and leadership development activities. In their senior year, GEAR UP TN will assist the students in applying to college, maximizing their scholarship and financial aid opportunities and preparing them for rigors of college academics.
GEAR UP TN is a federally-funded college access program that aims to expand the college-going culture in Tennessee and empower students to succeed. Funded through a seven-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education and administered by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, GEAR UP TN works with collaboratives in 15 counties across the state to promote college readiness and success.