Students in St. Louis Community College’s TriO Upward Bound program have completed 100 hours of community service for children at Shriner’s Hospital St. Louis.
More than 30 high school students from St. Louis area schools participated over the course of six weeks.
Since 1924, the hospital’s board-certified surgeons and staff have been providing high-quality pediatric orthopedic care to children, regardless of the families’ ability to pay.
The goal of the Upward Bound 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 are all St. Louis City residents. The Upward Bound program encourages not only student involvement, but parent involvement as well.
Service projects are different each year. Some projects have included reading to daycare children, preparing meals at a shelter, singing holiday songs at a hospital, collecting canned food and donating to a shelter, and donating shoes and clothing to needy. This year the students decided on a coloring book project. They created greeting cards and assembled coloring books for patients.
The Upward Bound program has been housed at STLCC-Forest Park since 1999.
“Service is the payment we give to others to live on this earth. It is imperative for all people to know the importance of helping others,” said Carolyn Jackson, Upward Bound program director. “This process begins a shift from a ‘me’ attitude to a ‘we’ attitude. I witness happiness and a since of unity when students work on service projects in which they are involved. This small act gradually changes the Upward Bound students’ contributions to society, this is the first step in changing the world. Students must know that they can bring about positive change and an enhanced feeling of pride when they help others.”
The Upward Bound program has a long history of preparing high school students for college. Upward Bound was established 53 years ago by the U.S. Congress under President Lyndon Johnson 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.