Nevada GEAR UP Digest

November 2023

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Youtube  

Grateful and Thankful in November!

November, probably more than any other month, reminds us to be grateful and thankful for all of the positive (and maybe the not so positive) elements in our lives. Sometimes life can be difficult but if we concentrate on all that is good, somehow the burdens seem smaller. According to the Mayo Clinic, studies have shown that those who maintain a grateful attitude, enjoy better sleep, mood, and immunities as well as experiencing decreases in depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. In other words, it's good for you!

"Gratitude can transform common days into thankgivings, turn routine jobs into joy and change ordinary opportunities into blessings." ~William Arthur Ward*.


This month's blog was written by Rita Kundanani, GEAR UP Specialist at Durango High School! You can read it here!

Awareness Calendars

We've all heard about various days, weeks, or months that are dedicated to recognition of a particular event, time, or heritage, for example October is Cybersecurity Month but did you know it is also the National Bullying Prevention Month? As a new feature of the Digest, we will be listing the various recognition days, weeks, and months in each issue so you can plan related social media posts or other activities if desired. This month we have listed both November and December to get us caught up. This Awareness Calendar is courtesy of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA). Thanks to Jana for the suggestion!

Request for Proposals for NCCEP National Conference

July 21-24

There is still time to submit your proposal for the upcoming NCCEP national conference this July. The deadline to submit your proposal is December 15, 2023. For more information, visit:

NCCEP Capacity Building Workshop

February 12th-15th

Registration is OPEN! The annual NCCEP Capacity Building Workshop is being rebranded to the National GEAR UP Academy! This conference is a chance to dive deeper into various topics of interest. This will remain a virtual event which means it will be more affordable to attend without the additional travel expenses. Janet Stake, Director, NSHE GEAR UP Programming and Outreach is slated to present a communications discussion lab session titled, "Communications Strategies by Audience: What Works for You?". She will be working with NCCEP's Jackie Mania and Brigette Klement with UVU. For more information and/or to register, visit:

Social Media

(For all students, parents, staff and supporters)

Don't forget to like and follow @gearupnv on any or all of our social media platforms! You can use the icons above to access the GEAR UP accounts. We would love for you to tag us and interact whenever possible!

* William Arthur Ward was an American motivational writer with over 100 published articles, poems, mediations, and books.

Pictures from Recent Campus Visits!!

GEAR UP West Success!

This year's GEAR UP WEST conference was held in beautiful Spokane, Washington. This conference was jam packed with a lot of great sessions and networking events. Sunday's welcome dinner was great. They had a panel of GEAR UP alumni sharing their experiences with GEAR UP. There were activities that the panelists led during the dinner. One stand out session was "Building Power Skills (they're not soft) for College Success". We learned about and took away several engaging activities to build help-seeking behaviors through role-playing scenarios and collaborative problem-solving difficulties. We learned how to equip students for college and show them why these power skills are crucial for success. As an added benefit, the location of the hotel was great. We were able to scooter around town and enjoy the beauty that Spokane had to offer. Overall this conference was a lot of fun and a great learning opportunity. 

Our First Staff Interview!

First we want to thank Alane McQueeney who agreed to be our first staff interviewee. As reported last month, Alane retired recently. We thought it would be fun to get some of her thoughts before she left.

Q: What has been the most rewarding thing for you, working for GEAR UP?

A: To help students realize that college is an option and that there are ways to pay for it.

Q: After 20+ years in education, what will you miss the most after you retire?

A: I will miss connecting and helping the students.

Q: What career advice would you give your younger self?

A: Working hard does pay off. Keep doing it!

Q: Give us one fun fact about Alane.

A; I am fluent in American Sign Language.

Q: Do you have any parting words or sage advice for your colleagues?

A: It was a pleasure working with all of you in the GEAR UP program. Thank you for your support.

Thank you, Alane! We will miss you!

NDE Fall Professional Development

We had a full day on November 6th attending the NDE Fall Professional Development session at CSN West Charleston. The GEAR UP Specialists, NSHE team and NDE were all on hand. The first session was lead by our friends at Student Success Agency. They presented a session on student engagement using a very creative theme of archaeology and dinosaurs. For those that are interested in data, this included some related research that can be further investigated as needed or desired. After SSA, we were then lead in a virtual session about the new FAFSA presented by our friend from Mississippi, Kierstan Dufour. This session was highly interactive with several Kahoots. Congratulations to Amanda Tapia for leading the pack in Kahoot quizzes!

NSHE Team Building (Half) Day!

The NSHE team was finally able to hold their Team Building (Half) Day that was rescheduled from a prior date. Although the event was shortened, it immediately followed the NDE professional development session so it was a full day for staff. Following a brief lunch together, the team embarked on a very interesting and much needed learning path called UndocuAlly. In this session, the team learned about supporting undocumented students. Nevada has the largest population of undocumented students in the nation so the need for this type of training is obvious. This training is something our team can list on their resumes. Nicole Stella, our ASPIRE Director facilitated the session. Following this training, the team recognized and celebrated each other in a Cheers for Peers appreciation exercise. Each staff member was given a matted, frameable print (see example in photo) and a letter of appreciation from fellow team members.

November and December Awareness Calendars

If not otherwise noted, questions regarding content in this Digest should be directed to: 
Janet Stake, NSHE GEAR UP Director, Programming and Outreach
Funded by USDE Nevada State GEAR UP Grant #P334S190009