Gazette-Mail: Mascots dance off during college-going event


LISA BERNHEIM | Gazette-Mail Topper, the mascot from West Liberty University, celebrates after winning the Mascot Mania Dance Contest for the second year in a row during the GEAR UP student leadership academy on Wednesday. The Leadership Academy informs students of their college options and encourages them to take charge of their futures.

LISA BERNHEIM | Gazette-Mail Topper, the mascot from West Liberty University, celebrates after winning the Mascot Mania Dance Contest for the second year in a row during the GEAR UP student leadership academy on Wednesday. The Leadership Academy informs students of their college options and encourages them to take charge of their futures.

More than 1,500 ninth grade students participating in the West Virginia GEAR UP program packed into the Clay Center for the Arts for the student leadership academy. The program is a college readiness project coordinated by the state Higher Education Policy Commission and funded by the federal government. It serves students in 10 counties including Fayette, Boone, Mason, Mercer, Mingo, Nicholas, Summers, Webster, Wyoming and Wirt. Wednesday’s event featured speakers including Josh Shipp, a nationally renowned youth leadership coach, Paul Hill, chancellor of the state Higher Education Policy Commission, and Sarah Tucker, chancellor of the state Community and Technical College System. The event also featured a dance off with college mascots.

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LISA BERNHEIM | Gazette-Mail The mascot of the Fairmont State University Falcons takes part in the Mascot Mania Dance Contest during Wednesday’s GEAR UP presentation at the Clay Center.

LISA BERNHEIM | Gazette-Mail The mascot of the Fairmont State University Falcons takes part in the Mascot Mania Dance Contest during Wednesday’s GEAR UP presentation at the Clay Center.

 

LISA BERNHEIM | Gazette-Mail Topper, the mascot from West Liberty University, celebrates after winning the Mascot Mania Dance Contest for the second year in a row during the GEAR UP student leadership academy on Wednesday. The Leadership Academy informs students of their college options and encourages them to take charge of their futures.

LISA BERNHEIM | Gazette-Mail Topper, the mascot from West Liberty University, celebrates after winning the Mascot Mania Dance Contest for the second year in a row during the GEAR UP student leadership academy on Wednesday. The Leadership Academy informs students of their college options and encourages them to take charge of their futures.

LISA BERNHEIM | Gazette-Mail Topper, the mascot from West Liberty University, celebrates after winning the Mascot Mania Dance Contest for the second year in a row during the GEAR UP student leadership academy on Wednesday. The Leadership Academy informs students of their college options and encourages them to take charge of their futures.

LISA BERNHEIM | Gazette-Mail Topper, the mascot from West Liberty University, celebrates after winning the Mascot Mania Dance Contest for the second year in a row during the GEAR UP student leadership academy on Wednesday. The Leadership Academy informs students of their college options and encourages them to take charge of their futures.