By | Lora Neshovska
TRiO is a federally funded outreach and student services program aimed to provide services for students with a disadvantaged background.
Upward Bound is one of eight national programs within TRiO. The program is designed for first-generation college students who exhibit the potential and interest to strive in college. As members of this program, students benefit from resources such as financial aid assistance and academic counseling.
Upward Bound has been serving the Humboldt and Trinity school districts since 1965. Within these counties, the program is affiliated with six local high schools: Hoopa Valley, Arcata, South Fork, Southern Trinity, Hayfork, and Trinity.
Arcata High senior, Tatyanna Keeling said Upward Bound has been particularly helpful with financial aid counseling, as well as deadline reminders and reinforcement.
This year, Upward Bound received a five-year $1.25 million extension grant. Each five-year renewal, new advancements are developed into the program to ensure quality improvement, as well as operational funding.
With the funding, Upward Bound began their new summer “Bridge Year” program. This feature strives to provide participating high school seniors with an immersive college experience.
Upward Bound Director at HSU, Jen Dyke said the summer is the best time to get students committed to following through with their college plans and there is no better way than to allow participants to become “real college students.”
For the duration of the five-week summer program, students live in the Cypress Residence Hall and get a head start on college courses, all provided by TRiO.
For the remainder of the school year, students have access to college and career counseling, as well as academic and financial tutoring. The program also organizes and engages students in local social and cultural events, as well as college campus touring.
Shayna McCullough, a 21-year-old senior majoring in Social Work is an alum from Upward Bound. She said Upward Bound instilled pride in her. As a first-generation student, she has found a lot of emotional support and inspiration in fellow colleagues who also participate in Upward Bound.
Upward Bound is just one of the three TRiO programs at HSU. Other federal-funded programs, including Talent Search and Student Support Services, which all aim to ease the transition of disadvantaged students from high school to college.