_A212220Nassau Community College partners with DREAM TEEN Magazine for the GEAR-UP Program. This year, the GEAR UP program held its first graduation lunch for the Uniondale graduates, The lunch was held on the Nassau Community College campus. DREAM TEEN Magazine interviewed Dr. Florence D. Simmons, principal of Uniondale high school. Dr, Simmons says this is the largest graduation class during her 5-year tenure with Uniondale, with 546 graduates. The GEAR UP program started with these students in the 6th grade and followed them from middle school to graduation. “The graduation rate increased, test scores increased and 100% of the seniors applied for college, it has been an amazing experience for me,” says Dr. Simmons. She believes that the GEAR UP program should be a part of every school’s curriculum because it has been so successful. The students went on college tours in the 6th grade. The district of Uniondale also had a college fair. The GEAR UP Program makes college an expectation. “The Nassau Community College GEAR UP program is phenomenal,” Dr. Simmons said. The kids take college courses in high school, which allow them 40 credits of college courses. SEE MORE IN THE FALL ISSUE OF DREAM TEEN MAGAZINE