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EDUCATION: Murray Honored by GEAR UP and the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships

Aug 06 2013

Sen. Murray recognized for commitment, support, and leadership in education

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) was presented the Champions for Student Success award by the GEAR UP Community and the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP) during an awards ceremony today at the University of Washington. The Champions for Student Success award recognizes Senator Murray for her commitment, support, and leadership in education.  Recipients of the Champions for Student Success are particularly concerned about students at risk of not graduating from high school, and low-income students who aspire to be the first in their families to attend college.  Senator Murray spoke to a group of GEAR UP students at the award ceremony today. 

“As I look out at all of these incredible students –some of the best and brightest from across Washington state, I think of how important education has been in my life,” Senator Murray said while accepting the award. “When I was growing up, right here in Washington state like all of you, I had a big, loving family with six brothers and sisters. But when I turned 15, my dad became ill, and our family fell on hard times.  And even though things were tough at home, my brothers, my sisters, and I had good schools and good teachers that helped us succeed and go on to college. And that’s why programs like Gear Up are so important, because each one of you here deserves the same chance to succeed, to go to college – maybe even here at UW – though I went to Washington State, to start an exciting, successful career, and maybe even run for the U.S. Senate one day.” 

Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a competitive grant program that increases the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education by providing partnership grants to offer support services to high-poverty, middle and high schools. 

More about GEAR UP

Senator Murray’s remarks, as prepared:

“Thank you so much, Thomas, for that introduction…

“And of course, thank you to everyone at Gear Up for this award.

“I also want to give a special thank you to Sheila Edward Lange from the University of Washington, Gene Sharratt from the Washington Student Achievement Council, and Weiya Liang, the outstanding Director of Washington state’s GEAR UP Program.

“You know, as I look out at all of these incredible students – some of the best and brightest from across Washington state, I think of how important education has been in my life.

“When I was growing up, right here in Washington state like all of you, I had a big, loving family with six brothers and sisters.

“But when I turned 15, my dad became ill, and our family fell on hard times.

“And even though things were tough at home, my brothers, my sisters, and I had good schools and good teachers that helped us succeed and go on to college.

“And that’s why programs like Gear Up are so important, because each one of you here deserves the same chance to succeed… To go to college – maybe even here at UW – though I went to Washington State, to start an exciting, successful career, and maybe even run for the U.S. Senate one day…

“I know you’ve all been participating in some great leadership training this week, and I’m here to tell you to work hard at it, because we need your leadership.  We’re all relying on you to lead our country in the future.

“So I’ve been working hard back in Washington, DC to support Gear Up and support our schools in Washington state, and I want you to know that everyone in this room and everyone at home, from your teachers to your parents, believes in all of you.

“We all know what you’re capable of, and we can’t wait to see you succeed.

“So thank you again for this award, and thank you so much for having me here today.

“It’s an incredible honor to meet some of the young men and women who will make our state proud for years to come.

“Thank you.”