News Release: West Virginia ‘GEAR UP’ partners with West Liberty University to award $1,000 scholarships to West Virginia high school juniors

Rachel HicksProgram updates

West Liberty University awards nine West Virginia GEAR UP students each with a $1,000 scholarship to use if they attend the university. Pictured from left to right are Madison Law, Rachel Bess, Kimberly Stover, Latasha Acord, Topper the Bear, Brenda King, Haliegh Bowman, Samantha Adamini, Lakelyn Sexton, Seth Moore and Hannah Trippett.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Today, nine West Virginia students were each awarded a $1,000 scholarship on behalf of West Liberty University.

The university made the announcement during the annual Student Leadership Academy event at the Clay Center. The event, which was hosted by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission’s (Commission’s) federally funded “Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP)” initiative, invited 1,400 11th grade students from 10 West Virginia counties to hear a keynote delivered by EJ Carrion. Carrion, an award-winning motivational speaker and co-founder/CEO of the Student Success Agency, spoke about overcoming obstacles and taking risks to succeed in education and in life. The event also provided students with information regarding college, such as the average cost of tuition at West Virginia’s public two- and four-year institutions and the dollar amounts of state- and federal-level financial aid.

During the event, Brenda King, West Liberty University’s Executive Director of Admissions and Recruitment, presented nine West Virginia GEAR UP students each with a check for $1,000 to be used if they are admitted to and attend the university upon graduating from high school.

“We at West Liberty University want to congratulate all of the student leaders who attended the Student Leadership Academy,” said King. “We are so excited to see how these students’ leadership skills and talents make the future of West Virginia brighter – and we would love to see these students on the Hilltop in a few short years to help them achieve their goals.”

The following students received a scholarship:

  • Latasha Acord from Westside High School
  • Samantha Adamini from Oak Hill High School
  • Rachel Bess from Richwood High School
  • Haliegh Bowman from Scott High School
  • Madison Law from Princeton Senior High School
  • Seth Moore from Wirt County High School
  • Lakelyn Sexton from Summers County High School
  • Kimberly Stover from Webster County High School
  • Hannah Trippett from Hannan High School

Carolyn Long, Interim Chancellor of the Commission, praised West Liberty for its generosity toward West Virginia GEAR UP students.

“We are delighted with the partnership we have with West Liberty University for this year’s Student Leadership Academy,” said Long. “We appreciate the generosity of West Liberty, and we know that these scholarships will help encourage our students to pursue postsecondary education, supporting our overall mission with the GEAR UP program.”

West Virginia GEAR UP is a federally funded college readiness project coordinated by the Higher Education Policy Commission. The project serves students in ten counties, including Boone, Fayette, Mason, Mercer, Mingo, Nicholas, Summers, Webster, Wirt and Wyoming counties.

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Related social media accounts: @wvgearup @westlibertyu