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Grant for Upward Bound program renewed
Monday, June 12, 2017

Fredonia will be able to continue Upward Bound, a pre-college preparation program designed to help participants enroll in and graduate from institutions of postsecondary education, for another five years, with receipt of an annual $368,244 federal grant.

Upward Bound is one of the educational opportunity programs referred to as the TRIO Programs that were established by the federal government to ensure equal educational opportunity regardless of race, ethnic background or economic circumstance.

“We were very grateful,” Upward Bound Director Loretta Slaton Torain said, of securing the grant for the 2017-2022 cycle. “We have a number of students who are going off to college in the fall, so we would have left them without assistance during this crucial college prep time,” she added, had funding not been renewed by the United States Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education.
This year’s graduating class of 24 students was honored at the Senior Recognition Night held May 31.

In place at Fredonia since 1989, Upward Bound typically serves about 100 students from area high schools each year and would have ceased operations May 31 without renewed funding. The grant covers all program costs, including staff and instructor salaries, tutor wages, supplies, travel expenses and student stipends.

The goal of Upward Bound is to increase the rates of first-generation college students (parents do not have a bachelor’s degree) enrolling in and graduating from college. In preparing the grant application, Ms. Torain addressed the need for the program, noting low rates of area high school students who go on to seek a bachelor’s degree. Torain has directed the program since 2005.

Fredonia operates one of 950 Upward Bound programs across the country. Students must meet income eligibility, have academic potential and motivation to attend college and be enrolled in grade 8 through 11. Participating school districts include Dunkirk, Brocton, Silver Creek, Chautauqua Lake and Ripley.

Upward Bound students visit the Fredonia campus and attend monthly workshops there, engage in three community service programs each year and attend cultural events. Also part of the program are daily tutoring sessions at the student’s home high school that are devoted to core academics, SAT and ACT test preparation, college application process and financial aid assistance. Meetings are also held with advisers to ensure the students “stay on track,” Torain explained.

A college-like experience is provided during a six-week residential summer program on the Fredonia campus. Students participate in guided study, attend academic enrichment and elective courses, participate in health, wellness and leadership activities, go on field trips and make new friends. Forty students will attend this year’s session, June 25 to Aug. 4.

Many Upward Bound graduates continue their education at Fredonia.

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