Feature Stories

USF, Hillsborough County Public Schools, and East Bay High School Gear Up Students for College Access


A partnership between USF and Hillsborough County Public Schools is aiming to increase the number of college awareness among low-income students. GEAR-UP, Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, offers critical early college awareness and support activities to improve access to higher education. The latest event was held at the USF Riverfront Park utilizing the Low Ropes Course with 9th and 10th grade students from East Bay High School.  


The Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships' Mazi Ferguson led the initial introduction and welcomed students to campus. He discussed the university and stressed the importance of a college education. The Challenge Course staff focused on building leadership skills, enhancing problem solving skills and developing effective communication. This gave students opportunities to use critical thinking skills and reflect on team-building initiatives.