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News: Beth Kelly

GEAR UP West Professional of the Year awarded to WSAC’s Beth Kelly

October 31, 2019

Olympia—At its annual conference on October 22, GEAR UP West presented Beth Kelly of the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) with its Professional of the Year Award for 2019. As Assistant Director for Washington State GEAR UP, Kelly works with 26 high-poverty schools to prepare over 5,500 students for education and careers after high school.

Kelly has authored more than 30 publications for educators, students, and families. From her perspective, "Providing strategies and replicable tools to the invaluable boots on the ground means they don't have to recreate the wheel. Instead, they can focus their time and energy on providing meaningful direct service to students and families." These publications, along with others, are available on GEAR UP's online library of college access resources. 

Associate Director of College Access and Support Marcie Sample says “Beth’s work reaches far beyond our GEAR UP community. Wherever we go, colleagues thank us for sharing our resources with them. At the GEAR UP national conference last summer, nearly every person I talked to thanked us—and specifically Beth—for the quality of our resources and her contributions.”

According to Kelly, it's her passion for solidarity and empowerment that has guided her through almost two decades in service to underrepresented, vulnerable populations. A proud AmeriCorps VISTA alum, she holds a B.S. in Education from Central Michigan University, along with certificates in project management and nonprofit and national service management from the University of Washington.

Education professionals from the western United States gather at the annual GEAR UP West conference to share best practices for helping low-income and underrepresented students prepare for and succeed in college. The GEAR UP West Professional of the Year is selected by a cohort of GEAR UP education professionals.

About the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC)

The Washington Student Achievement Council is committed to increasing educational opportunities and attainment in Washington.