Welcome to the CHAMP GEAR UP Program

The Creating Higher Aspiration and Motivation Project (CHAMP) serves 297 6th through 12th grade Camden City middle and high school students with college access activities annually.

Program objective - to provide participants with a solid foundation to enable them to successfully complete post-secondary programs leading to careers in fields in which persons from minority and/or disadvantaged backgrounds are underrepresented, such as engineering, computer science, medicine, environmental science, etc.

The program includes a six-week summer enrichment program, which concentrates on increasing the students’ skills in math, science, English, public speaking and computer science. Emphasis is also placed on self-esteem, social and cooperative skill building as well as career broadening experiences. The academic year program includes after school tutoring, in and out of school counseling and mentoring, Saturday field trips and educational activities, as well as trips to colleges and universities. PSAT/SAT instruction is offered twice a week as well as assistance with college applications and financial aid forms.

The program is supported by funds from the U.S. Department of Education administered through New Jersey Higher Education, NJ College Bound Grant Program, Camden City Public Schools and Rowan University.

What does the program offer?
Services offered by the CHAMP Program include:

  • A 6-week summer program on a college campus
  • Academic and personal counseling
  • Assistance with college applications
  • College visits and tours
  • Cultural and educational trips
  • Financial aid information workshops
  • PAARC, PSAT, SAT prep classes
  • Leadership Development Activities
  • Mentoring
  • Parental Activities
  • Saturday classes
  • Scholarships for college
  • Tutoring after school

During the academic school year, student participants are involved in academic and career counseling. In September, the student, parent and counselor design a personal education plan for each participant. At the end of each marking period the student and counselor meet to access school grades to ensure that the plan is being adhered to. Students are then divided into career clusters to gain more knowledge in their prospective field.

Tutoring is provided 4 days each week in all academic subjects. PSAT/SAT tutorial classes are offered 2 days each week. PAARC tutorial classes are held for 20 Saturdays. Students have the opportunity to be mentored by a college student. Students participate in college visits as well as cultural and educational field trips throughout the year.

Extensive help with the college admissions process is given to all seniors. Financial aid information sessions are held weekly during the evenings.