UMF’s Upward Bound Program receives new grant
FARMINGTON — The University of Maine at Farmington’s Upward Bound program recently received a new grant to help low-income, first-generation students from central Maine prepare for and succeed in post-secondary education. The new River Valley Upward Bound grant will provide $250,000 each year for five years to serve 60 students at Mt. Valley High School, Telstar Regional High School, Dirigo High School, Buckfield High School and Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School.
The UMF affiliate is one of 780 recently-funded Upward Bound programs nationwide. These programs help close to 60,000 students acquire the knowledge and skills they need to access and succeed in college. According to its director Lynn Ploof-Davis, The UMF Upward Bound program currently works year-round with 79 students from 10 high schools in central Maine.
Since it first began in 1980, UMF’s Upward Bound program has helped prepare over 500 young people for higher education. Of those Upward Bound participants who have enrolled in college since the class of 2000, 92 percent — more than three times the national average—have enrolled in Bachelor’s degree programs at public and private colleges and universities throughout the country.
One of eight federal TRIO programs designed to serve individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, Upward Bound projects provide academic support to high-school students in mathematics, science, English and foreign languages. They also provide mentoring and counseling services to students and their families during the college search and financial-aid process.