The Take the LEAD program is provided by GEAR UP Kentucky 3.0 to support parents and other caring adults in becoming education advocates equipped with the information, tools, and experiences needed to guide the college and career aspirations of their children. GEAR UP Kentucky is  a six-year grant program administered by the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education and funded by the U.S. Department of Education (2011-2017).


GEAR UP stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs.The GUK 3.0 program serves 29 middle schools and their corresponding high schools in 21 counties in Kentucky. In addition to providing direct services to students in participating schools such as comprehensive advising, college tours, summer programs, and college readiness skills training.


For parents or guardians, GEAR UP offers resources and activities designed specifically for family members, so that they can become more involved in their student’s education and in helping them prepare to succeed in college.Take the LEAD is just one part of what GEAR UP Kentucky Parent Services offers.


Partners are a vital part of making GEAR UP possible for thousands of Kentucky students. Take the LEAD is made possible through a partnership with the University of Kentucky College of Education and the Kentucky Department of Education. GEAR UP worked closely with the creators of OTIS (Open-source Tools for Instructional Support) and the Digital Drivers License platform. OTIS was created by Dr. Gerry Swan, an Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction in the UK College of Education, and Marty Park, chief digital officer at the Kentucky Department of Education – a huge thank you to them for their support, assistance and use of this great platform!


Because this is an open source platform, Take the LEAD is available to any Kentucky parent, guardian, mentor, or other caring adult that wants to learn how to better support the student in their life on the path to college and a career. If your organization is interested in using Take the LEAD in your community, contact the GEAR UP Kentucky office.