Akins GEAR UP Program for Class of 2024

GEAR-UP Program at Akins Early College

High School



Awareness &
Readiness for




Starting the 2020-2021 school year, all Akins Early College High School students in the Class of 2024 will be served by the GEAR UP Program.  Any 9th grader in the Class of 2024 is a GEAR UP student.  At Akins High School, GEAR UP students will have the following support system:


  • Small GEAR UP sections for 12 students for targeted support
  • 3 Academic Tutors
  • 2 Facilitators/Advisors


What will GEAR UP do?

  • The GEAR UP grant is focused on improving student outcomes and readiness for academic success at all levels. The GEAR UP team commits to provide support and/or enhance student support services such as tutoring, mentoring, and counseling/advising. We pledge to reach out to families and community partners to help ensure all students have a strong support system.
  • GEAR UP will provide experiential learning opportunities such as college tours, job shadows/job site visits, or educational field trips. 
  • Furthermore, GEAR UP will help build sustainability by facilitating or providing professional learning avenues for GEAR UP teachers and campuses.

What are GEAR UP’s goals?

National GEAR UP Objectives:

  1. To increase the academic performance and preparation for postsecondary education of participating students;
  2. To increase the rate of high school graduation and participation in postsecondary education of participating students; and
  3. To increase educational expectations for participating students and increase student and family knowledge of postsecondary education options, preparation, and financing.

Austin GEAR UP Goals:

  1. To expand instruction and increase academic opportunities in mathematics, science, and language arts to enable students to complete college level courses without the need for remediation
  2. To provide access to and enable success in high-quality advanced academic programs in order to reduce the need for course or subject remediation in college
  3. To provide for professional development of GU Austin personnel in order to assure strong, student-led and personalized instruction in project schools
  4. To provide a network of strong student support services, including those that improve non-cognitive skills and behaviors and encourage on-time promotion and academic preparation
  5. To ensure on-time high school completion and straight-t0-college enrollment
  6. To ensure first-year college retention
  7. To provide postsecondary information including college fit and readiness level, and additional opportunities
  8. To build, expand, and leverage community partnerships
Ms. Lara Linnell
Hello! I am Lara Linnell and have been a GEAR UP Facilitator for 3 years now. I've gotten to see my students from Paredes grow for the last two years and they are absolutely amazing! I am so excited to meet the rest of our Akins' Eagles Class of 2024!!
Before working for GEAR UP, I was a 4th and 5th grade teacher at Perez Elementary for 13 years. I love our Southeast Austin neighborhood and I love education! I have three children, that also went/go to Perez, Ava (13), Harper (10), and Weston (6). My children and my students are my everything! I am so exited for this new year at Akins! Go Eagles Class of 2024!!
Hola! My name is Laura Olvera! I am extremely excited to be a part of the Akins family! I am bilingual and the first in my family to graduate from college.  I attended Texas State University and have been working in the school district for the past 7 years. I've worked with Gear Up the last 2 years at Mendez Middle School. I have really enjoyed getting to know my students and feel so lucky to continue working with the class of 2024!  I am committed to the growth and success of our Gear Up students and I can't wait to meet the entire freshman class!  I'll be here to guide you to graduation day Eagles!