Angeleena Corrente & Timothy Wiley

Former Coolidge High School student Angeleena Corrente with fellow GEAR UP student Timothy Wiley.

A former Coolidge High School student who participated in the Northern Arizona University GEAR UP program has been selected by the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships for the GEAR UP Alumni Leadership Academy, GUALA.

NAU GEAR UP alumni, and CHS 2012 grad Angeleena Corrente, was one of 24 students chosen to participate in the year-long GUALA program. They showed exceptional leadership potential and have shown the capacity to effectively engage their peers, schools and community to create a college-going culture.

Corrente was awarded a $24,000 GEAR UP scholarship her senior year at CHS.

“The idea of a higher education came about when I got on a bus to go to Northern Arizona University for the summer enrichment program,” Corrente said. “That week changed my life for the better, and for the next four years I kept going back to NAU to continue growing.”

Since 2000, NAU has been the administrator of the Arizona GEAR UP grant projects and has partnered with 28 school districts, served more than 12,000 students enrolled in grades 7-12 in 67 schools across 26 communities.

GEAR UP is a federally-funded program that provides services to help increase the number of students who are prepared for and succeed in higher education.

“My time as a GEAR UP student really set the tone and blazed a path for me to where I am today,” fellow GEAR UP student Timothy Wiley said. “The program helped me not only pursue excellence but have the resources to continue to be the best student I could be.”

The council created the GUALA program, with the support of the Kresge Foundation, to advance college and career readiness in communities by providing 12 months of training for alumni leaders on topics related to peer-to-peer outreach and mentoring, social media engagement, public speaking and education policy.

As part of the program, Corrente was in Washington, D.C. for a week-long intensive leadership training where they will interact with national policymakers and leaders.