GEAR UP is funded through the US Department of Education and aims to increase the number of low-income students who are getting to and through college.  GEAR UP provides six-year or seven years grants to states and partnerships to provide services at high-poverty middle and high schools.  Currently WHEF is a sub-grantee in both the State grant and a Partnership grant. 


State Grant - GEAR UP Mississippi

In 2019, a seven-year grant was awarded to Mississippi State University and the work is focused on three priority Mississippi school districts: Greenville, McComb, and Meridian. Get2College provides direct service to high school counselors, teachers, students, and parents. Through supportive events such as Application Days, FAFSA Days, and Signing Days as well as counselor and teacher professional development, we support a college-going culture statewide. With an emphasis on FAFSA completion and ACT prep, we help Mississippi students prepare, plan, and pay for college. 


GEAR UP Contact Information

Brandi Lyndall, Director of GEAR UP Outreach,

Tori Holloway, Assistant Director of GEAR UP Outreach,

Danny Thompson, Assistant Director of GEAR UP Outreach,


Partnership Grant - MS Delta GEAR UP

Delta State University (DSU) was awarded a seven-year, $15 million GEAR UP partnership grant that will provide college access and career planning programming to eight school districts in the MS Delta. The MS Delta GEAR UP Partnership Grant (Delta GU) is a collaborative effort of the Woodward Hines Education Foundation (WHEF), The Foundation for the Mid-South, Casey Family Programs, local school districts, and DSU.  

The Foundation for the Mid-South will implement and provide oversight for all programming related to the MS Delta GU Partnership grant. They will coordinate the work of the grant in the following eight school districts, serving 2,700 Mississippi Delta students:  

  • Achievement School District (formerly Yazoo City and Humphreys County) 

  • Leland (Leland high school) 

  • Western Line (O'Bannon and Riverside high schools) 

  • North Bolivar (Northside High) 

  • Sunflower (Thomas Edwards and Gentry high schools) 

  • Hollandale (Simmons high school) 

  • Greenwood-Leflore (Greenwood, Leflore County and Amanda Elzy high schools) 

  • Greenville (Greenville high school)