Meet Mr. Buluma, A GEAR UP Alumnus
Byadunia Buluma graduated from Charlottesville High School in 2012. He was part of the 2006-2012 GUV Cohort which included 36 high schools and 3,873 students total. It was during a CHS GEAR UP tour of Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC) that we ran into Mr. Buluma. He took some time to remind all of us what our hard work means to students.
Mr. Buluma graduated from PVCC and now works at PVCC's First Quadrant Math Center. His face lit up when he heard the words GEAR UP. “I was in GEAR UP! I signed up for it in seventh grade.” He remembered his GEAR UP Coordinator, Mrs. Lois Burke, staying after school to help him with math and with his college applications during senior year. “She even wrote a letter to Longwood, her alma mater, for me.” Lois Burke continues to serve as a GEAR UP Data Coordinator at CHS, and the admiration is mutual with her describing him as "one of the hardest working students I've ever taught.”
Mr. Buluma’s GUV experience is similar to many current students. He enthusiastically talked about his summer camp experiences. He described visiting colleges with the GUV team. "Mr. Rich wanted me to go to ODU, but it was too far," he explained as he thought back on the struggles of choosing a college. (At the time, Mr. Reshaud Rich was CHS’s College Adviser. He is now GEAR UP Virginia's Southeastern Regional Manager!) Through the process, the GEAR UP team was there to support him. He was accepted to Longwood and was excited to go until moving day came. “I couldn’t stay. At the time, I was helping to support my family, and I didn’t want to leave them.” Mr. Buluma is a refugee and an active member of a Swahili church group. He made the choice to go to PVCC to be close to his community. He paid for college with a GEAR UP scholarship and was able to work to continue helping his family.
After graduating from PVCC, he started a job in their IT depart and as a coordinator for their Math Tutoring Center. He works four days a week and keeps his weekends free to help with translations and bible studies. When asked what advice he would give to our current eleventh graders, he replied, "I would tell students that the GEAR UP Coordinators are your friends. They will help you!" Tutoring and mentoring still play a large role in his life, except rather than receiving these services as a GEAR UP student, he is now guiding the next generation.
GUV School Team Kudos
Each GEAR UP Virginia school division is unique in their programming and administration. In this newsletter, we want to highlight an effort that makes each division stand out.
A special bonus congratulations to all GUV schools for the teamwork required to turn in 100% of the Summative Narrative Reports on time!
GEAR UP Virginia in the News
College Advising Corp expands by a third through a new partnership
UVA Today- September 6, 2018
Covington High School students gearing up for college
WBDJ 7- September 28, 2018
State secretary of education visits Harrisonburg High School
WHSV 3 September 26, 2018
Did you know?
Many colleges, "in an effort to sort through a growing number of applications, are quietly tracking prospective students’ online interaction with the schools," Some universities "are tracking how quickly prospective students open email and whether they click links." Find out more details in The Wall Street Journal’s article Colleges Mine Data on Their Applicants
Why it matters:
"Many students have no idea they are being tracked, or to what extent." Encourage students to check and open messages to send a positive message to prospective colleges.