Fenton Students plan for GEARUp4Success Conference


Molly Killian, Lifestyles Editor

On March 17, Andrew G. Schmidt Middle School’s Builder’s Club, Kiwanis Educating Youth (KEY) Club and Student Council were planning on going to Mott Community College in Flint to attend GearUp4Success, which is the leadership conference put on by GearUp2Lead. At the conference, students listen to several guest speakers from the Flint area.

“The conference teaches our youth success strategies while also recognizing and promoting the strength of our community,” Executive Director Winston Stoody said. “Our goal is to motivate and inspire students through our GEAR concepts. GEAR represents the four core tenets of our organization, which are growth mindset, empathy, action and responsibility. The underlying goal of GearUp4Sucess is to give students the skills and mindset to succeed after high school.”

At the conference, guest speakers gave fifteen minute speeches focused primarily on one or more of the GEAR concepts in hopes of inspiring students. 

“All of the speakers come up with different metaphors for their chosen topics,” junior Olivia Herbert said. “Last year, one of my favorite speakers compared the metamorphosis of a butterfly to going through a tough time. He talked about how butterflies turn into a goo inside of the cocoon and then become a beautiful butterfly. This talk helped me understand other people’s difficult times and how I should act in those situations.”

Over one thousand students from the Genesee County area went to the conference where they were exposed to many cultures, backgrounds and ethnicities. 

“I was inspired by the diversity at the conference,” sophomore Mai Ngyuen said. “There were people of all different ethnicities and cultures. The most inspiring part was the fact that many of the speakers were minorities. This inspired me— by hearing their success stories, I felt that I could grow up and be just as successful at what I want to do.”

Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, the GearUp4Sucess was cancelled. However, GearUp4Sucess is an event that Fenton students go to annually, so the student council and KEY Club plan on going to the 2021 conference.