Weatherford College has been awarded a $1.48 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to continue its support for local high school students as they prepare for college through the TRIO Upward Bound program.
The program empowers high school students who are underrepresented in higher education and interested in entering postsecondary study. WC’s Upward Bound serves students from Gordon, Millsap, Mineral Wells and Springtown school districts. Students are predominantly first-generation college bound and income eligible.
Upward Bound assists ninth through twelfth grade students in preparing for college, encouraging academic excellence, teaching life and study skills and cultivating success, said Christine Endy, WC Upward Bound director.
“We offer students tools for success; the work they do themselves,” Endy said.
WC staff visit students each week in their high schools to track their achievement. Once a month, students attend Saturday classes at WC. And for six weeks every summer they get a pre-college experience, taking classes in math, science, English, literature and foreign language at the Weatherford campus.
Upward Bound also visits colleges across the nation to help guide their college-going decisions.
The goals of the Upward Bound program are to develop skillsets that positively impact academic performance, expose students to the demands of college and ensure they graduate with a solid post-secondary plan—both academically and financially.
Students leave the program with the tools and knowledge to become thriving college students and citizens.
“Through Upward Bound, I discovered the scholarship that is going to fund my entire education for four years,” said Sarah Kinnard, Colgate University freshman, WC graduate and recent Upward Bound participant. “They gave me a network of support, of friends and mentors. I truly don’t know where I’d be today without WC’s Upward Bound program.”
Upward Bound has been a part of the Weatherford College family for 22 years. The national TRIO Upward Bound grant process is highly competitive, and the application requires an intense student and community success metric.
Nearly 100 percent of graduating Upward Bound students were enrolled in rigorous course work during their high school career. WC assures the federal government that after six years, 30 percent of participants will earn a college degree, and that goal is exceeded each year.
“Upward Bound gave me a fighting chance,” said Brandon Wallace, a recent George Washington University graduate and WC Upward Bound alumnus. “Through Upward Bound, I learned my worth and realized no matter what, with willpower, I can achieve great heights.”
Wallace is continuing his Upward Bound legacy by pursuing a master’s degree from Syracuse University.
The Upward Bound program at WC is 100 percent federally funded by the U.S. Department of Education to serve 55 participants in the amount of $297,601 per year for five years of the 2022-2027 grant cycle. All services are free of cost to students who qualify for the program.
For more information, visit https://wc.edu/about/administration-departments/trio/upward-bound/index.php.
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