Sophomores Looking Ahead

GEAR UP takes students to University of Iowa


Photo provided by Mrs. Wessels

Kennedy students gather at the end of their University of Iowa tour.

Claire Fluent, Opinion Editor

Around 70 sophomores attending Kennedy High School took a trip to the University of Iowa on Tuesday, Oct. 17. Presentations, tours of campus, and dorm room visits were all included in their visit to the U of I.

Current sophomores were given this opportunity for free because of the Gear Up Program run by Laurie Mead. Gear Up was put in place at Kennedy specifically for the graduating class of 2020 and is a federal program to help students prepare for college and future careers.

Each current sophomore can choose to visit the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, or the University of Northern Iowa this year. Next year, as juniors, they will be given another opportunity to visit one of these three schools, for free, through Gear Up.

A grad-school student at Iowa presented to the group of students for about an hour at the beginning of the visit. The presentation covered everything from popular undergrad classes to sports, clubs, and intramural’s at Iowa. Statistics, especially grade point averages and test scores, were a big part of what was discussed. Questions also came up about sororities and fraternities and even some about study abroad programs available at Iowa.

The tour of campus started at the Iowa Memorial Union and ventured up the hill to the Pentacrest. Tour guides led the students in four different groups and explained the history of some buildings on campus. They also told students about the current classes taught in each building and showed off the five-floor library.

“My favorite part of the whole visit was seeing the library and learning that there are over 5 million books throughout the whole campus,” C.J. Currie, so., said.

Towards the end of the tour, these Kennedy students got to experience a little bit of college outside of the education part. An Iowa student, currently living in Currier, escorted everyone up to her dorm room for a preview of what her living situation looks and feels like.

“I’ve always looked into going to college at Iowa and I’m super glad I got this experience to help me lean one way or another on my decision,” Camryn Ray, so., said.