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WV student selected for national leadership academy

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Concord University student Ronald "Trey" Lockhart recently was selected to participate in the inaugural GEAR UP Alumni Leadership Academy, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission announced in a news release.

Lockhart will travel to Washington D.C., where he will join 29 other students in the academy's inaugural class.

The news release states the week-long training program will teach students skills in social media advocacy, grassroots civic engagement and organizational leadership.

Lockhart will then come home to work with local GEAR UP staff members to increase community engagement, awareness, and support for issues related to college access and success, according to the release.

The academy is a 12-month national leadership program providing students across the country with training in civic engagement and community development.

Lockhart, a McDowell County native, was selected from a nationwide pool of applicants of students who graduated from high schools served by the federal GEAR UP program.

GEAR UP stands for "Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs" and it works to prepare students from high-need areas to succeed in postsecondary education programs.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said he is proud of Lockhart.

 "I am incredibly proud that a West Virginia student is included within the inaugural class of the national GEAR UP Alumni Leadership Academy," Tomblin said in the release. "Education is a top priority for the Mountain State, and the GEAR UP program has made tremendous strides in advancing the postsecondary educational opportunities of students throughout southern and central West Virginia. I know Mr. Lockhart will represent our state well, and I am encouraged and inspired by his willingness to serve as a voice for his peers in working to advance educational achievement."