GEAR UP Program (Class of 2024)

What is GEAR UP?

GEAR UP stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs. It is a seven year federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education promoting college readiness and success through multiple strategies and activities. Austin ISD received the GEAR UP grant in September 2017. Starting in August 2020, GEAR UP Austin will serve the class of 2024 at the seven high schools listed below. Every student in the class of 2024, regardless of middle school attended, will be considered a GEAR UP Austin student. 

(Click here for more information on the GEAR UP program for participating high schools.)


Lara N

Ms. Lara Noack

GEAR UP Facilitator

Room 308

text 210-951-9880

Hello! I am Lara Noack and have been a GEAR UP Facilitator for 4 years now. I have looped up with the 10th graders from Paredes since they were in 7th grade and I was at Akins last year to help all of our students during virtual learning! I am so excited to continue growing with our Akins' Eagles Class of 2024 and supporting them to find the best path for their future !!

Before working for GEAR UP, I was a 4th and 5th grade teacher at Perez Elementary for 11 years. I love our Southeast Austin neighborhoods and I love education! I have three children, Ava (14), Harper (11), and Weston (7). My children and my students are my everything! I am so exited for this new year at Akins! Go Eagles Class of 2024!!



Mr. Josh Moreno

GEAR UP Facilitator

Room 146

Text 512-937-3044

My name is Joshua Moreno.  I'm a native Austinite. I graduated from the University of Austin in 2005 with an undergraduate degree in Kinesiology and then from Texas State University in 2013 with a master's degree in Public Health. I'm starting my 14th year in education, and I have spent the last 11 years at Paredes MS as the AVID Coordinator.  I live in this community, and I love this south Austin community.  I look forward to supporting your student and helping them pursue their dreams in life.



Samantha Stevens


Portable 329/330

text 720-432-8248

This my 4th year as a Gear Up Advocate. I’m excited to be back this year! Previously I taught elementary and middle school for 29 years. I have 4 kids and I love to hike with my family, garden and walk my dogs when I’m not at work. 



Kim De Leon


RM 275


This is my 4th year with GEAR UP and I have a passion for learning and being outdoors. I got to travel in my junior year of college at Texas Lutheran University, 'PUPS UP!' and ever since I have taken any opportunity to get out of Texas to see the world!

Wings up!