Comprehensive Mentoring

The GEAR UP Waterbury alliance staff offers comprehensive small group and large group classroom-based mentoring sessions for cohort students at Crosby, Kennedy, and Wilby high schools and Waterbury Career Academy. Mentoring is a key component to the educational success of our students and the GEAR UP team is committed to providing quality experiences to students in order to encourage personal growth.   The objectives set forth within our mentoring curriculum aim to socially develop students so they are more apt to succeed in the classroom. By providing students with the personal tools to problem solve, resolve conflict, persevere, and set goals, we empower students. The Waterbury alliance mentoring curriculum focuses on these concepts and looks to build a growth mindset amongst our students. The brain is like any muscle in our body. As we feed it energy and nourishment, it will grow, develop, and strengthen. Our mentoring curriculum provides students the opportunity to explore this issue. Our staff encourages students to believe in themselves by believing their personal developmental skills can and will grow.

In addition to non-cognitive skill building, the GEAR UP team mentors students on academic success and post secondary readiness. Mentoring lessons are designed to address study habits, test taking strategies, study environments as well as college and career exploration. The mentoring model provides a well rounded, holistic approach to student development that provides student ownership of their future. The curriculum allows students to explore their pathway to success and map out the tools necessary to successful reach each milestone along the way.

See Pillars of Academic, Social, and Future Success

After School Programming

The GEAR UP program currently offers after school enrichment and intervention for our cohort students in the 9th and 10th grades at Crosby, Kennedy, and Wilby. Staffed by Waterbury Public School teachers and GEAR UP mentors, the after school program offers a wide variety of activities and extra help in core classes. The program runs Tuesday through Thursday at each school with transportation provided. GEAR UP works with classroom teachers to monitor the progress of students and to align our extra help sessions with classroom curriculum. Students are encouraged to stay after school to finish missing assignments and seek support in classes they struggle with, in order to assure acquisition of credit throughout the school year. New to the after school program in 2015-16 will be a credit recovery program. Students failing courses in core content areas of math and English/language arts will work with a tutor to complete computer based modules in the area of concern. The goal will be to recover semester or previous year credit to keep students on track to graduation.

In addition, GEAR UP offers after school enrichment programs for students wanting to explore career readiness skills. After school programming in leadership, nutrition education, male and female youth support networks, and career exploration are offered to students. Students interested in exploring one or more of these options, or starting an after school club should see a GEAR UP site coordinator.


College Campus Tours

The GEAR UP Waterbury alliance offers a series of college campus tours throughout the school year and summer months. Students and families are invited to attend campus tours to familiarize themselves with campus life. Tours to colleges and universities provide information sessions, academic opportunities, residential life, and extracurricular information. No tour can be complete without a sampling of the campus’s dining hall food (Usually everyone’s favorite part of the day). Through fall 2015, GEAR UP Waterbury students and families have had the opportunities to visit the following institutions:


Fairfield University
Naugatuck Valley Community College
Central Connecticut State University
Eastern Connecticut State University
Sacred Heart University
Southern Connecticut State University
University of Bridgeport
University of New Haven
University of Connecticut at Storrs
University of Connecticut at Waterbury
Wesleyan University
Yale University

Out of State

University of Massachusetts at Amherst
St. Peters University, New Jersey