LCCC receives two Ellbogen grant awards to help high school students

LCCC   5-27, 2016

Students across Laramie County will have improved educational opportunities thanks to grants received by Laramie County Community College.

This month, LCCC received notification that it was awarded two grants from the John P. Ellbogen Foundation. These grants, totaling nearly $70,000, will help support the college’s GEAR UP and the Partnership Diploma Program (PDP).
More than $60,000 was allocated to fund a high school success counselor, which will expand the GEAR UP program to additional students. Currently only high school students who qualify for free lunches and are low-income can participate in this program. This grant will now allow the program to reach up to 1,000 students.

Adam Keizer, Program Manager for GEAR UP helped develop this expanded program. “What matters is finding a way to reach these kids and give them opportunities and advantages that otherwise wouldn’t exist for them,” Keizer said. According to Keizer, GEAR UP helps increase students’ academic skills, helps students graduate and enroll in college, provides tutorial assistance, and gives students life skills workshops and leadership development.

Additionally, $7,550 was granted to the PDP to train staff, incorporate the tenets of the Code of the West and Cowboy Ethics in an incentive program to help students reach their potential. The PDP has helped hundreds of Laramie County students reach graduation through a partnership with the school district, giving students an alternative approach to finish high school that isn’t possible in a traditional setting.

Program director Martha Thein created the initiative for this request.

“This is a chance to help these young people reach for the best in themselves,” Thein shared. She noted that this program has found success across the country, and her students would not be able to participate without a grant opportunity like this.
For information about GEAR UP and the Partnership Diploma Program, visit