Wapato students will be benefitting from a multi-million dollar grant used to help low income students prepare to succeed in a postsecondary education. The $16.7-million in grant money will be used by the University of Washington’s GEAR UP program to serve a new group of students from 13 school districts in the Yakima and Skagit Valleys. Many Wapato students are already being assisted through the efforts of the GEAR UP program, this funding will allow GEAR UP to work with even more students in the District. GEAR UP which stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs is a national college readiness program designed to increase the number of underrepresented students become college and career ready. The program provides students with mentoring along with a wide range of college readiness activities like assistance with scholarships, financial aid, campus visits and more. The seven year grant will allow the program to begin working with students in middle school and assist them right through their first year of college.