Program helps Putnam students “Gear Up” for college

Program provides guidance in application process

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – While many of us may be scrambling to get ready for the upcoming holidays, many students in Springfield are preparing for something a little more long term.

More than 100 students at Putnam Vocational Technical Academy are working with volunteer counselors Wednesday, to fill out college applications. The “Gear Up” program guides students through what can sometimes be a confusing process.

Many of the teens involved in the program will be the first in their families to attend college. Putnam Senior Moses Gonzalez told 22News that it is great to have the counselors’ help.

“It enables us to ask them questions while we’re filling it (the applications) out, and have them walk us through it rather than being home by ourselves on the computer,” Gonzalez said. “That could be the difference between making or not making it into the college you want to be in.”

This is the second year that Putnam has participated in the event, and student turnout has doubled. The direction provided through the event gives students confidence to apply to schools they may not have otherwise considered.