Partnership Grant Projects

Linking Education to Success (LETS) GEAR UP

The north Texas town of DeSoto is focused on using its GEAR UP grant to further the understanding and pursuit of postsecondary education amongst the underserved middle schools and high schools of its highest-need school district. Backed by several institutions, including The University of Texas-Austin and Texas Instruments, LETS GEAR UP is poised to keep DeSoto’s students primed for breaking the low-income cycle by pushing them into reaching their full professional potential. College and Career Academies and the iSTEAM3D program will keep students college-and-career-oriented through more rigorous courses—and coupling these educational opportunities with getting parents informed about the obligations, options, and potential gains associated with college attendance will serve to prepare DeSoto’s families to move forward on an inter-generational level.

Program Highlights

  • 13 different educational institutions and agencies came together to partner with DeSoto ISD on this grant. Talk about making your own luck!
  • In 2014, DeSoto ISD was the only K-12 Texas school district to receive the GEAR UP grant from the U.S. Department of Education—a distinction worthy of an appearance by Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson to present the check.
  • Middle school students will be selected via lottery for a spot in the project-based learning program iSTEAM3D to learn soft skills and study in the science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics fields.
  • The project’s College and Career Academies will allow high school students to explore different fields of work and earn college credit ahead of time. 
  • Years of Grant: 2014-2021
  • ESC Region(s): 10
  • Students Served: 1,407


DeSoto ISD

200 East Belt Line Road
DeSoto, TX 75115


Program Leadership


  • DeSoto Freshman Campus

    DeSoto ISD

  • DeSoto High School

    DeSoto ISD

  • West Middle School

    DeSoto ISD

  • McCowan Middle School

    DeSoto ISD

  • East Middle School

    DeSoto ISD

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