Mon, Oct. 21

The faces of Gear Up

From left, Charly Diaz, Andy Davila, Christyana Fletcher, Saya Federbush (VVN/Bill Helm)

From left, Charly Diaz, Andy Davila, Christyana Fletcher, Saya Federbush (VVN/Bill Helm)

Christyana Fletcher

Christyana Fletcher joined the Gear Up program while at Oak Creek School in Cornville. With a 3.8 grade-point average, Christyana now celebrates a full ride to Northern Arizona University where she would like to study psychology.

“I find it fascinating, and rewarding,” she says. “I want to take care of people.”

Christyana says that the Gear Up program has provided her with “a lot more opportunities that I wouldn’t have known about.”

“”When I got to my freshman year, I realized I could do this, I could go to college,” Christyana says. “With a little effort, I could make this happen.”

Andy Davila

Before Gear Up, Andy Davila says he didn’t know much about college – or about the process of applying for scholarships.

A lover of music, astronomy and mathematics, Andy is diverse in his interests. With his 4.06 grade-point average, the 17-year-old is also multi-talented.

Andy, who has been a Gear Up participant since he was a seventh grader at Cottonwood Middle School, will study astronomy at Northern Arizona University.

But his education of focus “could change,” the Lumberjack winner says. “Something math or science related.”

With an eye on research, Andy says he could see himself one day back in the classroom – as a teacher.

“My dad talks to us,” he says. “What I’m teaching you, teach it to your kids. I do think about that a lot.”

Charly Diaz

Though Charly Diaz doesn’t view himself as a “techie guy,” the Mingus Union senior wants to forge a career in art – and in technology. With Gear Up, Charly sees his future clearly: digital culture, with an emphasis in graphic information technology.

“Finding innovative ways to convey information graphically,” he says.

Charly says the Gear Up program has been “special” for him.

“It’s a blessing I received in middle school,” he says.

The way Charly sees things, gifts are to be shared with other people. Which is why he enjoys talking about Gear Up with the program’s other students.

“I can talk about college more openly,” he says. “It’s created a community with the class. I also feel it gives us a chance to teach the underclassmen about college.”

Saya Federbush

A 4.24 grade-point average is Saya Federbush’s calling card for college. But Mingus Union senior isn’t yet sure where she’ll earn her undergraduate diploma.

Considering University of California, University of California at Los Angeles, Columbia University, as well as select Arizona universities, Saya says she’s interested in zoology and journalism.

Saya says that Gear Up has helped her focus on what she wants to do with her professional career.

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