With love and expertise, Mansfield City Schools prepares diverse leaders and builds positive relationships with students, staff, and educational allies.

Mansfield City Schools will be the premier learning destination of Richland County.


Who we are:
  • GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is an early intervention program that has been implemented in Mansfield Middle School and Mansfield Senior High School. This program is designated to help low-income and first-generation college students prepare for college and receive the support needed to achieve success in postsecondary education. To reduce barriers to college access and completion GEAR UP will do the following; increase academic performance and preparation for post-secondary education of participating students, increase the rate of high school graduation and participation in college and universities, increase educational expectations for participating students, and increase student and family knowledge of post-secondary education options, preparation, and financing.

What we do:
GEAR UP offers state and partnership grants. State grants are competitive six-year matching grants that must include both an early intervention component designed to increase college attendance and success and raise the expectations of low-income students and a scholarship component. Partnership grants are competitive six-year matching grants that must support an early intervention component and may support a scholarship component designed to increase college attendance and success and raise the expectations of low-income students. 

Our Services:
  • One-on-one advising 

  • Group advising 

  • College Visits 

  • FAFSA assistance 

  • Workshops 

The Team
Effie James
Site Director

Email: [email protected]

Office: 419.525.6369 EXT 1089

Cell: 419.827.8612

Mr. Effie D. James Jr

Mr. James is a 1994 Graduate of Mansfield Sr. High. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Mount Vernon Nazarene University and has a Master’s degree in Education from Tiffin University. Mr. James has a passion for the youth of the Mansfield community and has a strong desire to help create a college-going culture in the Mansfield City Schools. As GEAR UP Site Director he oversees the program activities and the administrative work as it pertains to GEAR UP activities and services for Mansfield Sr. High students 7 -12. He is on-site to support GEAR UP advisors and their daily engagement with students and make sure they have what they need to best serve the students. Mr. James is humbled by the opportunity to work at his alma mater and excited to help Mansfield students realize the limitless educational future that is available to them.

Ai'Layshia Randle-Williams

Email: [email protected]

Office:419.525.6369 EXT 1191

Cell: 419.862.7391

Miss. Williams is a 2019 Graduate of Marion Harding High School. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Social Work from The Ohio State University. Miss. Williams enjoys helping youth achieve their goals. Her passion for this stems from being a part of the GEAR UP Program herself when she was in high school. She recognizes the importance of having a plan after high school. She looks forward to helping students with post-secondary plans and creating new opportunities for Mansfield City students. 


Malon Samuel

Email: [email protected]

Office:419.525.6369 EXT 1191

Cell: 419.362.6345

My name is Malon Samuel and I am an advisor for GEAR UP Ohio. I am from Mansfield, Ohio where I graduated in 2014 from Mansfield Senior High School. I graduated from Bowling Green State University in 2018 with a degree in Criminal Justice. In my free time, I love to watch and play sports. I also coach varsity football for Mansfield Senior. I look forward to working with our youth and being a positive influence for the youth in this community. 

 (To make an appointment with an advisor 
click the image above)

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