Wichita State University’s Kansas Kids @ GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is a college access program that is federally funded through the U.S. Department of Education designed to help students in foster care prepare for post-secondary education.
KKGU offers a variety of free services to participants that help them gear up for a postsecondary education. Services include college exploration and visits, academic skill building, career exploration, mentoring, life skill building, ACT / SAT workshops, financial literacy, financial aid workshops, program orientation, scholarship opportunities, summer programs, educational field trips, recognition ceremonies for students and teachers, college portfolio preparation and quarterly newsletters.
iGRAD, a Keys for Networking educational program, helps Kansas youth 14 and older track placement history and secure records. Using an online database to ease communication between schools and providers, iGRAD provides interventions for risk factors that create barriers to educational success. iGRAD is funded by Kansas Kids @ GEAR UP. Keys for Networking, who manages the online database, also provides services to children and adolescents who have behavioral, education, mental health, physical health and substance abuse problems.