SSC GEAR UP Students Attend Youth Leadership Summit

Two Seminole State College GEAR UP students were selected to attend the 2023 Youth Leadership Summit (YLS) in San Francisco, California, from July 16-19.

The two students, Benjamin Foster of Prague and Mandy Primeaux of Wewoka, joined 150 of their peers from across the country at the summit. The students and GEAR UP staff were able to experience and tour many cultural and historical sites, including San Francisco’s Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz Prison, the Golden Gate Bridge and more.

AT YLS, students were able to enhance their leadership and networking skills. One of the major experiences from YLS included small group collaboration and planning finalized by executing several presentations in front of over 2,000 GEAR UP professionals, teachers, principals, and partners.

“Getting to be a part of YLS helped me be able to push outside my comfort zone and not be afraid to be myself around a big group of strangers. It was such a great experience, and I would definitely do it again,” Foster said.

GEAR UP, or Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, is designed to increase the number of students who are prepared to enter and succeed in

postsecondary education. Student/parent coordinators work with a cohort of students beginning in sixth and seventh grade and mentor that group through their first year of postsecondary education.

For more information about SSC’s GEAR UP program, visit