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July / August 2003


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UMaine Today Magazine


University of Maine Foundation

Upward Bound Counselors
Photo by Faith Erhardt
 

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A bridge to higher education

In Upward Bound, a college preparatory/academic support program, high school students learn they can succeed in school and in life. In six-week residential summer sessions at the University of Maine, the students are involved in rigorous coursework and internships in their fields of interest. Upward Bound counselors assist with issues such as financial planning for college, and offer academic support throughout the year.

Most Upward Bound students spend three summers at UMaine, including the months between high school graduation and the start of college classes in the fall. During that "bridge summer," they take their first college course, paid for by a stipend from Upward Bound, which is part of the College of Education and Human Development.

"It was important to get into the course and realize I can do college work," says Upward Bound graduate Isaac Wilkins, who now has a bachelor's degree in business from UMaine and is pursuing a master's degree in kinesiology.

To help more Upward Bound students who are headed to college, Friends of Upward Bound is establishing a $1 million endowment in the University of Maine Foundation to provide similar academic stipends. UMaine Upward Bound students use the funds to purchase college textbooks and computers, supplement tuition costs and overcome other financial barriers.

"The first semester is the hardest financially" since scholarship monies often aren't available until the beginning of the second college semester, says Nancy Cormier, who is now working at Gaylord Hospital in Connecticut after graduating this past spring from college. "My stipend allowed me to purchase some much-needed supplies and books."

Increasing educational access is what Friends of Upward Bound is about.

 

UMaine Today Magazine
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The University of Maine
, Orono, Maine 04469
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