Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools

Welcome

Welcome to the GEAR UP Office at Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools. We serve the classes of 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2021.  We offer an array of services including workshops, field trips, and college advising. We also provide leadership, scholarship, internship opportunities and much more with the intention of preparing our students for college. We have two offices located in the A-173 for grades 8 and 9 and in the Library for grades 11 and 12.  Whichever office you visit, our staff is here to support students and parents from 7:30-4:30, Monday through Friday. Our doors, arms, and hearts are always open, so come on in!

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Mentoring

Purpose

Our peer mentor program develops leadership qualities, strengthens public speaking skills, and trains students to become role models for their peers and advocates for their community. As mentors, students reach out to their peers and families with the premise that if individual students have the opportunity to climb the ladder of success, they will bring their families and communities along with them.

AS A GEAR UP MENTOR, YOU WILL:

  • serve as a leader and role model to your peers
  • get fellow students excited about school and learning
  • attend regular meetings to build your leadership skills
  • encourage your fellow students to do well in their classes
  • become a better public speaker

WOW, SIGN ME UP – I WANT TO BE A PEER MENTOR!

To be a peer-mentor, students must have a 2.0 GPA or higher, a teacher/staff recommendation and parent permission. If you are interested in becoming a mentor, complete the online application.  Please stop by the GEAR UP office if you need help completing the application.

Click the button below to fill out an application!

MENTOR APPLICATION

FOR TEACHERS AND STAFF: If you think a student has what it takes to be a mentor, fill out a recommendation form by clicking on the button below!

MENTOR RECOMMENDATION

Upcoming Events

DateGradeEventLocationTimeRSVP
      
9/24/18 

GEAR UP WEEK

   
9/24/1810/11

Mentor Meeting

RFK LibraryLunch 
9/24/18 

UPenn Night

RFK Library5:30pm - 7:00pm 
9/25/18 

CSU Conference-RFK GU Office will be closed.

Pasadena Convention Center  
9/25/18 

GEAR UP WEEK

   
9/26/18 

College T-shirt Day

   
9/26/18 

GEAR UP WEEK

   
9/26/18 

Teacher Coffee with GEAR UP

RFK Library7:30am-11:00am 
9/27/18 

GEAR UP WEEK

   
9/28/18Parents

Advocacy Parent Training

LA City College9:00am - 11:00am 
9/28/18 

GEAR UP WEEK

   
9/28/1810/11

Mentor Summit

LA City College8:00am - 2:30pm 
9/29/18CFS Students

City's Future Scholars-Humanities 6

LA City College9:00am - 12:00pm 
9/29/18Parents

Parent Ambassadors PLUS ME

LA City College8:30am - 2:00pm 
10/1/18 

GEAR UP Staff Meeting-RFK GU Office will be closed.

   
10/1/1810th graders

PSAT Prep Class-snacks provided

RFK3:45pm - 5:45pm 
10/3/1810th graders

PSAT Prep Class-snacks provided

RFK3:45pm - 5:45pm 
10/3/18 

Supporting Youth of Color Dialogue Color

RFK3:45pm - 5:45pm 
10/4/1811th graders

PSAT Prep Class-snacks provided

LACC-Faculty & Staff Center5:00pm - 7:00pm 
10/6/18CFS Students

City's Future Scholars-Humanities 6

LA City College9:00am - 12:00pm 
10/8/1810th graders

PSAT Prep Class-snacks provided

RFK3:45pm - 5:45pm 
10/8/1811th graders

PSAT Prep Class-snacks provided

LACC-Faculty & Staff Center5:00pm - 7:00pm 
10/10/1810/11

PSAT Test Day

   
10/10/18 

Supporting Youth of Color Dialogue Color

RFK3:45pm - 5:45pm 
10/11/18Parents

Advocacy Parent Training

LA City College9:00am - 11:00am 
10/12/18 

GEAR UP Staff Meeting-RFK GU Office will be closed.

   
10/13/18CFS Students

City's Future Scholars-Humanities 6

LA City College9:00am - 12:00pm 
10/13/18Parents

UCLA Parent College Visit

UCLA8:00am - 3:30pm 
10/17/18 

Supporting Youth of Color Dialogue Color

RFK3:45pm - 5:45pm 
10/17/1810/11

Why Privates Night

RFK Library5:00pm - 6:30pm 
10/18/1811th

Occidental College Academic Showcase Field Trip

Occidental College8:00am - 2:30pm 
10/20/18Parents

Advocacy Parent Training

LA City College9:00am - 11:00am 
10/20/18CFS Students

City's Future Scholars-Humanities 6

LA City College9:00am - 12:00pm 
10/20/18Parents

Parent Ambassadors PLUS ME

LA City College8:30am - 12:00pm 
10/20/18GEAR UP Familes

Univision: Feria de Educacion

Cal State Northridge8:00am - 4:00pm 
10/24/18 

Supporting Youth of Color Dialogue Color

RFK3:45pm - 5:45pm 
10/25/1810th graders

Occidental College Shadow Day Field Trip

Occidental College8:00am - 2:30pm 
10/27/18CFS Students

City's Future Scholars-Humanities 6

LA City College9:00am - 12:00pm 
10/27/18 

LAUSD Local District Central College Career Summit

LA Trade Tech College8:30am - 1:30pm 
10/30/18 

GEAR UP Staff Meeting-RFK GU Office will be closed.

   
11/1/1810/11

Whittier College Field Trip

Whittier College8:00am - 2:30pm 
11/3/18CFS Students

City's Future Scholars-Humanities 6

LA City College9:00am - 12:00pm 
11/3/18GEAR UP Familes

Families In Schools Family Summit

Pomona College8:00am - 3:30pm 
11/7/18 

Supporting Youth of Color Dialogue Color

RFK3:45pm - 5:45pm 

Our Staff

Questions? Contact us at [email protected] (Classes of 2017 & 2018) or [email protected] (Classes of 2020 & 2021).

Classes of 2017 & 2018

  • Cheryl Morelan

    RFK Site Coordinator, GEAR UP1

    • College: Occidental College, Bachelor of Arts, Spanish Language 1979
      Cal State Los Angeles, Master of Arts, Educational Administration 1986
    • Favorite Movie: The Sound of Music
    • Favorite Food: Not mushrooms or bell peppers!
    • My biggest influence: My biggest influence has been my many family and friends who have beat the odds to improve their lives and the lives of those around them. I admire their positivity and grit.
    • Why I love my job: I love my job because I get to facilitate and participate in the good works of my GEAR UP team members. Through their hard work and dedication, they support our students to beat the odds and get the college education so essential to improving their future prospects in life.
  • Miguel Rodriguez

    Program Assistant

    • College: UC San Diego
    • Favorite Movie: Shawshank Redemption
    • Favorite Food: Steak Frites
    • My biggest influence: I cannot say that I have had a single biggest influence, but I can say that I have had family, teachers, friends, and many experiences that have made me who I am and have helped me grow.
    • Why I love my job: I love my job because it gives me the opportunity to do what I love, and that is helping our community to grow and prosper. I am just getting started, but I have already met amazing students and colleagues that are having a tremendous impact on my life.
  • Penny Holland

    Counselor

    • College: B.S. Hofstra University
      M.S. City College of New York
    • Favorite Movie: In the present moment: The Queen of Katwe and Hidden Figures
    • Favorite Food: Unfortunately, I like them all, but seafood stands out.
    • My biggest influence: Life itself has been my biggest influence/I learn something new every day, especially from my daughters and from my all of my incredible students!
    • Why I love my job: Following students from 6th grade through their first year in college is an incredible opportunity. Seeing the growth, not only in the students’ academic accomplishments, but in their personality is a reward in itself! But the rewards keep coming because we will see them through their senior year and off to college. Seeing students win scholarships and being accepted to college can’t be beat!
  • Katty Secaida

    Community Representative

    • College: Los Angeles City College
    • Favorite Food: Seafood
    • My biggest influence: The most influential person in my life is my dad, Carlos. He has taught me to work hard and do my best, but also reminds me to always have fun. He has taught me to be positive in difficult circumstances. When he faces tough times, my dad chooses to focus on the good things and doesn’t get weighed down by the bad. He always says, “Life throws you punches, roll with it.” No matter what he is dealing with, he always manages to laugh…and always laughs hardest at his own jokes. Love you dad!
    • Why I love my job: I love my job because I get to help others. I get to provide them with helpful information regarding workshops or any GEAR UP events.

Classes of 2020 & 2021

  • David Gantt

    Site Coordinator

    • College: Los Angeles City College, Associates of Arts
      California State University, Northridge, Liberal Arts
      Pepperdine University, Master’s and Credential in Education
      California State University, Northridge, Master’s and Credential in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
    • Favorite Movie: The Sandlot
    • Favorite Food: Sushi
    • My biggest influence:  My parents…they both taught me the quality of hard work and perseverence.
    • Why I love my job:  I was the first one in my family to go to college and  I look forward to helping students get into college which will give them many opportunities in their future.
  • Noe Lopez

    Senior Academic Advisor

    • College: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
    • Favorite Movie: Zootopia
    • Favorite Food: Green Enchiladas/ Brownies
    • My biggest influence: My biggest influence is my mother. She is strong, compassionate and very optimistic. My mother helped nourish my passion for serving my community and educational equity.
    • Why I love my job: I love my job because it allows me to support first-generation college students pursue their dreams. I am privileged to have a job that gives me a platform to influence the next generation of world leaders, scholars and professionals.
  • Julissa De La Cruz

    Academic Advisor

    • College: UCLA- Sociology
    • Favorite Movie(s): 10 Things I Hate about You, A Walk to Remember, & most “chick flicks”
    • Favorite Food: Italian
    • My biggest influence: Bernard “Bernie” Sanders, has inspired many young people (myself included) to be actively involved and take action when it comes to justice for all.
    • Why I love my job: I know the students we serve in GEAR UP have so much to offer the world.  I love being part of their transition to greater things!
  • Jose Gaspar

    Academic Advisor

    • College: University of California, Berkeley
    • Favorite Movie: Coming to America
    • Favorite Food: Steak (medium) and Fries. Side of ranch/tabasco and a Dr. Pepper.
    • My biggest influence: My mom is my biggest influence. She taught me that you only lose when you give up. She also taught me that it is impossible to be sad on a full stomach.
    • Why I love my job: I love helping students. Simple as that. J
  • Heydi Patricia Rivera De Martinez

    Community Representative

    • College: In Elementary and Middle School, I studied at an all-girls school directed by nuns.  For High School, I studied Chemical Biology. I studied three years of Law at a University in my country, El Salvador.  In the United States, I studied English Language at an Adult School.
    • Favorite Movie: Titanic
    • Favorite Food: Salvadorian, Mexican, etc.
    • My biggest influence: My parents because they taught me good values and to respect others.  They always encouraged me to study and to move forward.  And, my teachers because they were always willing to listen to all my concerns.
    • Why I love my job: I love my job because I can help other parents see their children accomplish their dreams.  With the information we offer through GEAR UP 4 LA, be able to change the misconception that a higher education is not attainable due to lack of resources (financial, etc.) and to see those happy faces when we explain that it is possible to culminate a career and change the future of our children.
  • Claudia C. Pena Clemente

    Community Representative

    • College: Santa Monica College, Bryman College
    • Favorite Movie: Temple Grandin
    • Favorite Food: I just love food, so I cannot say I have a favorite
    • My biggest influence: My son, he has taught me that it is okay to be different
    • Why I love my job: I love my job because education is the future. I dream of a better world.