The following story is reprinted from the 8/18/15 NCCEP (National Council for Community and Education Partnerships) Digest and is copyrighted material used by permission.
"One of Our Own on America’s Got Talent!
"It is with great excitement that we report having a former GEAR UP student and tutor, Samantha Johnson among the talented contestants on America’s Got Talent.
"Samantha entered the GEAR UP program in 2001 as a seventh grader attending Normandin Middle School in New Bedford, MA. The following year, the GEAR UP Massachusetts state grant initiated their first GEAR UP talent show at that school to showcase talent and convey the “college message” to both parents and students.
"Samantha was the winner of the show which included a flute solo along with her singing talents. From there she continued on to New Bedford HS where she excelled in the drama department and was among the top students in her graduating class and a member of the National Honor Society.
"While enrolled at Bristol Community College, she also worked for the GEAR UP/New Bedford program as a tutor at Normandin MS.
"Today Samantha is a singing sensation on America’s Got Talent (AGT) and her GEAR UP family couldn’t be prouder! We encourage you to see the video clip of Samantha electrifying the crowd on AGT. Way to go Samantha!
"Be sure to watch, cheer, and vote for our GEAR UP alumna as she continues to pursue her dreams of being the winner of AGT!"