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2022 09 26 UB Students at Southwestern Oklahoma State University 900

Sep 26, 2022

Panhandle State Communications

Upward Bound at Panhandle State Receives Continued Funding

Oklahoma Panhandle State University has been awarded a $1.5 million federal grant to continue the Upward Bound program throughout the next five years. This program helps guide high school students on a path to success in higher education and obtaining a college degree.

Upward Bound helps students in local high schools, such as Guymon, Hooker, and Texhoma. In addition, the program allows students to apply for colleges and offers a bridge program for seniors to take college courses.

Director of Upward Bound, Sonia Hernandez, stated, “I am so proud of everyone in the program. These students want to go to college and make a difference in their communities. I look forward to helping them prosper in this program and in their daily lives.”

The students in the Upward Bound program also do community service projects with Main Street Guymon. For example, they volunteer in Community Clean-up Days and Fiesta Guymon. Having these students do community service allows other students to have the opportunity to learn and potentially join the program.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, collectively known as TRIO, this program Upward Bound, targets low-income and first-generation college students. Students enter the program in the ninth or tenth grade and continue throughout their high school career until graduation. Upward Bound staff is charged with tracking students’ success for six years after high school graduation.

“I am so proud of Sonia’s work this last year to improve the overall experience for the Upward Bound Program. Her passion and drive resulted in one of our most successful summer programs yet,” said Dean of the Academic Resource Center, Sarah Green.

Upward Bound includes one full school year and a six-week summer module that offers students tutoring and instruction in English, math, science, and foreign language. During the year, these services contain academic advising and tutoring, course planning assistance, career counseling, college visits, ACT exam preparation, cultural, social, and enrichment activities, monthly stipends, and scholarship and financial aid advice. Guest speakers are also available on time management and financial literacy, cultural field trips, and college visits.

Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, Dr. Theresa Billiot commented, “The work that the Upward Bound Program does for students in our area is fundamental in shaping them and their futures forever.”

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