The U.S. Department of Education has renewed the TRiO Upward Bound grant for St. Louis Community College-Forest Park at $1.5 million, or $304,429 a year for the next five years.
The grant is designed to serve the students of Roosevelt High School, Soldan International Studies and Cleveland NJROTC. Students who live in the vicinity of these schools but attend other schools may also qualify for admission.
“This grant will continue to support the mission of St. Louis Community College to help low-income and first-generation college students enroll and graduate from college,” said Franklyn Taylor, dean of Student Development and Enrollment Management at STLCC-Forest Park. “Receiving this continued support from the department is validation that STLCC is a place that is very supportive of students, including low-income and first-generation students.”
The goal of the program is to increase enrollment rates in higher education by providing comprehensive college preparation assistance for students who are from low-income backgrounds and potentially first-generation college students. Students receive tutoring, assistance with college and financial aid applications, SAT/ACT test preparation, and a seven-week summer program during which they take classes to increase their academic skills and visit college campuses across the country at no cost to them or their families.
The program has been housed at STLCC-Forest Park since 1999, and has witnessed its alumni move from high school to graduate school.
“If it had not been for TRiO Upward Bound, I would not have made it to this point,” said Amber Watson, an alum now in her third year studying global health and cellular/molecular biology at DePauw University. “As a rising freshman in high school, Upward Bound began to provide me with the tools necessary to seek postsecondary education opportunities. I was also exposed to some of the nation’s top universities. At a very early stage into my high school journey, I was equipped with the assurance that I could go to college and succeed.”
Carolyn A. Jackson has directed the program since its inception.
“I have observed unbelievable academic growth in students who wanted to learn and also in households where adults play a vital role in the academic growth of their children,” Jackson said. “I enjoy what I do, especially when I encounter students who really make an effort. It is making the effort that leads to success.”
In addition to Upward Bound, STLCC offers four other TRiO student support programs throughout the district. Upward Bound is its only pre-collegiate TRiO program.
The Upward Bound program was established 53 years ago by the U.S. Congress under President Lyndon Johnson’s administration and is funded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1964. More than 62,000 high school students around the country currently receive services through Upward Bound.