The SD GEAR Up Summer Honors Program kicks off at Black Hills State University

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RAPID CITY,S.D. (KOTA TV) High schoolers are gearing up for college as they attend a summer honors program at Black Hills State University.

Nearly 100 high schoolers from South Dakota are attending the SD GEAR UP Summer Honors Program. The 3-week program provides a pre-college enrichment experience that will help students learn the academic and social behaviors that are essential to a student's success in college.

Activities throughout the weeks include academic coursework, mentorship, team building, and promoting a healthy life style in connection with the students’ heritage.

"Kids who don't have an experience similar to this oftentimes aren't prepared for what college has to offer, or for what's expected of them. They don't know the challenges and the issues they're going to face when they get here, so it's a shock and it's an adjustment period, "said GEAR Up Group Leader Darlene Coppe.

In two weeks, students will spend time at Placerville Camp, an off campus site near Pactola Lake. They will learn about the history, geography and the ecosystem of the Black Hills.