More than 2,400 local eighth and ninth grade students from 30 area schools recently celebrated National GEAR UP Week at Wilburton High School with a presentation from Aric Bostick, one of the nation’s leading motivational speakers. Bostick presented two sessions to help inspire and motivate the students. The first session “Fired Up!” focused on concepts such as finding what fuels your tank, taking stock of your life, shifting your perspective, energizing your life (through exercise, rest and health eating), declaring your mission, understanding what others are going through and living in the here and now. During the second session, Bostick presented “HERO on Duty! What you do speaks louder than what you say!” This session focused on honesty, empathy, responsibility and optimism and how they impact your life, dreams and goals. The Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a federal initiative to increase the number of low-income students who enter and successfully transition into postsecondary education. Eastern Oklahoma State College will receive more than $12.6 million during a seven-year period to help students and educators in 30 partner schools. Area schools participating in Eastern’s GEAR UP for Success program include Antlers, Atoka, Bokoshe, Buffalo Valley, Canadian, Clayton, Crowder, Frink-Chamber, Haileyville, Hartshorne, Indianola, Keota, Krebs, LeFlore, McAlester, McCurtain, Moyers, Panama, Panola, Pittsburg, Quinton, Rattan, Red Oak, Savanna, Spiro, Stringtown, Talihina, Tannehill, Whitesboro and Wilburton.