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NJ GEAR UP Mentors

Mentoring Overview

Q & A

What is NJ GEAR UP?

NJ GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) offers educational support and assistance to middle and high school students to help them prepare for and enroll in a college or university.

What’s a mentor?

A mentor is a caring adult who agrees to spend time with a young person to help him or her make good decisions about life.

What does a NJ GEAR UP mentor do?

A NJ GEAR UP mentor shares his/her college experience to show the importance of staying in school and going to college.

Who can become a NJ GEAR UP mentor?

Full- or part-time undergraduate and graduate students can be mentors.

What do mentors get from the relationship?

Mentors can gain satisfaction and fulfillment by working with GEAR UP students. In addition, mentors are paid an hourly wage.

How often do NJ GEAR UP mentors and GEAR UP students meet?

Mentors and students meet for about five hours a week. This time is flexible. You can work with the Program Director at your site to establish appropriate hours.

How long am I required to stay with the program?

Mentors make an initial six-month commitment.

What activities will a NJ GEAR UP mentor participate in?

Mentors will participate in GEAR UP program activities such as college visits, school tutoring, and Saturday academic instruction.

Are the activities supervised or unsupervised?

All activities are supervised.

How old are GEAR UP students?

GEAR UP students are 12-18 years old.

What is the process I must go through to become a mentor?

Mentors must complete an application, interview, and a criminal background check. You will be called for an interview if your application is accepted. There is also a mandatory training workshop.

Where will mentoring activities be held?

Mentors work primarily at the college campus where they were hired. Programs are located at Atlantic Cape Community College, Cumberland County College, Mercer County Community College, New Jersey City University, Rowan University, and The Consortium for Pre-College Education in Greater Newark (New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rutgers University-Newark, and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey).

Where are the students enrolled in school?

The students attend target schools in Atlantic City/Pleasantville, Bridgeton, Jersey City, Newark, Paterson, Camden, and Trenton.

For an application, please contact Kilpatry Cuesta, NJ GEAR UP State Coordinator, by phone at (609) 292-6190 or by e-mail at kilpatry.cuesta@njhe.state.nj.us or click here for an online or hardcopy application.

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