Getting To Know Hudson Middle School2015 | admin | April 21, 2015 at 8:57 am
Interview with Hajra Saeed, GEAR UP Site Contact at Hudson Middle School
By Mary Unverferth
What motivated you to volunteer to be the GEAR UP Site Contact at Hudson?
I have always been interested in seeing students grow to their full potential, no matter what their circumstances. Many middle school students at Hudson never visualized themselves as ever attending college, so when my principal, Cathleen Imbroane, told us about GEAR UP coming to our school, I was very excited. She asked me if I would like to be the site contact and I accepted because I knew that the goals of GEAR UP were important for our students and that we have a great staff that would jump on board to create a college-going culture at Hudson.
As the Site Contact you have assumed a leadership role with fellow Leadership Team members as well as the faculty and staff. What has stood out to you as highlights of serving in this role and being the GEAR UP champion/cheerleader at Hudson?
One of the most valuable lessons I have learned is that a college-going culture is not just accidentally created by good people working together. GEAR UP has taught me that a conscientious effort must be made on a consistent basis to instill the confidence in our students that they have the ability to pursue a post-secondary education. As a team, we first created a plan to change the mindset of our staff using professional development articles provided by GEAR UP. Then, we moved on to creating activities for students and parents that would foster the culture we were trying to cultivate. 100% of our middle school teachers participate in the activities with their classes, even though the activities sometimes may interfere with their regular classroom schedules. I am extremely grateful to have a staff that is both cooperative and enthusiastic. Another highlight is that more parents are attending workshops, and are thus better informed about how to help their children in school. We are fortunate to be a K-8 school and can begin fostering the college mindset from a young age. Having parents attend the PIQE and CEP workshops doesn’t just help the individual students, but empowers entire families.