Photo of Jeannie Origbo

Jeannie Origbo


Jeannie Origbo is the Director for the Montana GEAR UP grant program funded by the U.S. Department of Education. She holds a bachelor's degree in Writing and Literature and a master's degree in Higher Education. Jeannie has worked in education since 2005 with experience at both the secondary and post-secondary level. She worked as a teacher for six years before beginning work in 2011 with the Montana University System. From 2013-2023 she worked primarily with MUS TRIO. She is committed to providing educational opportunities for all students.

Photo of Karen Wilson

Karen Wilson

School Grants Manager

Karen Wilson is a first generation graduate of Montana State University. Most of her career, Karen has served the needs of students kindergarten through college. She’s been with the State GEAR UP Team since October 2018. In her off time, she enjoys playing pinochle and creating art.

Man standing at the top of a mountain on a beautiful hike

John Kilgour

Program Manager 

John grew up in Maine but has lived in the West ever since graduating from college. After attending graduate school at the University of Montana, John moved to Colorado, where he taught high school social studies at a school near Boulder. John moved to Helena several years ago and is excited to be working in education again as part of the GEAR UP team. In his free time, John enjoys hiking and backpacking with his wife, taking their dog out on the trails, and taking pictures of the places they explore together.

Carroll College student

Lucas Jensen

Communication Manager

Luke is a Montana native from the town of Anaconda. He recently graduated from Carroll College with a degree in Health Sciences and a minor in Biology. During his time at college, he played for the Fighting Saints football team. Apart from work, Luke enjoys skiing, golfing, and whitewater rafting. He is thrilled to be part of the GEAR UP team and is looking forward to helping others have a similar college experience to his own.

woman smiling with her dog

Kelley Tippett

Data Analysis & Assessment Manager

Kelley Tippett graduated from Rocky Mountain College with a degree in English Education and a minor in Sociology.  For twelve years she felt called to work with children and teenagers in residential treatment centers to help them reach their full potential.  Kelley has a wide variety of interests outside of work that include baking, taking her dog for walks, and playing video games.  She is excited to work with the GEAR UP team to help students recognize and achieve their goals.

Smiling woman leaning against her motorcycle

Angelina Fillinger

Accounting Specialist

Angie was born and raised in Helena and has worked as an Accountant for the State of Montana for nearly 23 years. She received her degree in Accounting from Liberty University. In her free time she enjoys chasing her grandkids, cuddling with her many cats, and putting as many miles on their Harley as she and her husband can before winter.