Gear Up » About Us

About Us

What Is Gear Up?
GEAR UP stands for "gaining early awareness and readiness for undergraduate programs" and it is a federally funded college access program designed to increase the number of students who are prepared to enter and succeed in college.  Our goal is to make sure that every student in Swain has every option available to them when it is time to make decisions about their future!
Meet Your Gear Up Coordinator
My name is Taylor Rae Dodge and I grew up in Madison County, but moved to the Sylva area in 2016 and have since settled here permanently.  I was a student in Gear Up myself and later became the first in my family to achieve a college degree. I attended UNC-Chapel Hill where I studied English and Creative Writing before going on to get my Masters in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Ohio State University.  I am passionate about western North Carolina, our Appalachian communities, and making sure that our students have every resource and opportunity to be successful!