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Upward Bound winds down summer program

The campus of the University of West Alabama will finally have a break from the hustle and bustle that it is over run with every summer.

There are only a handful of days left in the summer session of Upward Bound.

“Upward Bound is an academic program,” said Mitzi Gates, Upward Bound’s Academic Coordinator. ” The participants will take a whole host of classes. They will have core curriculum classes that include Math, a science/lab, a foreign language, English and computer. History and reading skills courses are also offered, but they aren’t considered core courses.”

Students also have the opportunity to choose from a select list of elective courses such as choir, dance, weight training and a variety of different sports-related and physical activities. But, according to Gates, the Upward Bound experience is about more than education.

“We try to make it a very well-rounded program,” said Gates. “We are offering them different opportunities for social interaction. It’s to help them with their cultural development and give them an opportunity to do some things that they have never done.”

Upward Bound is a federally-funded program that serves students from low-income families or potential first-generation college students who demonstrate a need for academic support.”

It also gives support for those that are about to be college-bound seniors through specific academic subjects. Upward Bound also gives participants needing assistance with the ACT and the Graduation Exam.

According to a releases distributed by UWA’s Upward Bound office,

this summer’s program is host to 43 rising juniors and seniors that will be enrolled in classes taught by UWA professors and high school teachers.

“We always serve at least 58 students,” said Gates. “Our base grant is for 58 students. Two years ago, we wrote another grant that will allow us to server 20 more students through the summer of 2007. Then we’d reapply for an additional grant,” said Gates.

According to Gates the Upward Bound program serves as a good outreach program

The Upward Bound program, is also a very large and free marketing tool for the University of West Alabama.

“It’s such a wonderful opportunity for these students to get the feel of a real college experience,” said Gates. “Getting to stay at West Alabama is not our major goal, although some do. Some do come back to Livingstone in the fall, We encourage them to find the college that is the right fight for them.”

Upward Bound will be handing out awards at their final banquet of the season. Rising 10th graders will an opportunity to see firsthand what awaits them should they one of the lucky ones chosen to participate in this program.