Recently, Oakland University’s GEAR UP program teamed up with the Detroit Pistons for a GEAR UP career development event with the Palace Sports and Entertainment organization. A total of 279 students, parents and staff members participated in the event, including 170 8th grade GEAR UP students from OU.
GEAR UP, or Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, is a tutoring and mentoring program designed to prepare young students for college, both socially and academically. The program highlights the importance of a college education and teaches students about the information, knowledge and skills they will need when entering college.
At the event, students were invited to spend time in the Palace President’s Club suites to interact with Palace representatives in departments such as public relations, marketing, brand networks, community relations and basketball operations. This exposure to various unique occupations is designed to bring awareness to all the career opportunities that come with a college degree.
The event concluded with an invitation for all participants to attend the Pistons vs. Utah game.
Events like this aim to encourage students to see career possibilities for themselves, but they also benefit the community as a whole, according to Reginald McCloud, director of the Department of Pre College Programs.
“There is the potential for students to contribute to the overall good of the community based on their personal experiences with the Palace Sports and Entertainment organization,” McCloud said.
The event was so successful that the Palace organizers hope to “create a lasting relationship with GEAR UP,” to host additional events.