HOUSTON- A recent $2.4 million, five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education will extend the University of Houston-Downtown’s (UHD) Upward Bound program, which tailors academic and social instruction for high school students.
Upward Bound is a federally funded program that assists first-generation, low-income, college-bound students with the academic and life skills necessary to graduate from high school and succeed in college. UHD’s Upward Bound program – currently in its 31st year – has provided nearly 3,000 students from Houston Independent School District (HISD) with individualized training in mathematics, laboratory science, composition, literature and foreign languages.
Approximately 100 students a year commit to attend a week of intensive training during the summer, as well as Saturday courses on the UHD campus throughout all four years of high school. UHD supplies these teenagers with stipends, provides them with meals and takes them on college tours across the nation to visit top universities. The university also conducts workshops that assist students with financial literacy, community leadership, college admission and test preparation, and brings business leaders to campus to offer their real-world expertise to the students.
“Because many low-income, minority teenagers lack the role models and incentive to stay in school and develop dreams for future careers and success, our Upward Bound program meets a critical need in the community,” said Dawana Lewis, director of UHD’s Upward Bound program. “There is nothing more gratifying than cultivating a love for learning and a persistent discipline in these students that leads to college and graduate school completion and ultimately changed lives.”