Upward Bound celebrates 35 years at Penn State

June 18, 2003

University Park, Pa. -- In 1968, Penn State won its first federal Upward Bound grant to stimulate college ambitions in local high school students who otherwise might never consider college. Thirty-five years later, the program is still going strong and has just won another grant, totaling close to $2 million, to operate for the next four years.

Housed in Penn State's Academic Advancement Programs, Upward Bound serves students from low-income families in which the parents had little experience with education beyond high school. The program works to familiarize students with a college environment, help them understand the rewards of earning a degree and prepare them to succeed academically.

To celebrate more than three decades of success, a 35th anniversary reception will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, June 20, at The Nittany Lion Inn on the University Park campus.

The event will feature the recognition of two highly successful former Upward Bound students, John Kula and Tina Peachman. These students are past winners of the Regional TRIO Achievers Award, given each year to an accomplished professional who once participated in any of the federally funded "TRIO" programs, which include Upward Bound, within the mid-Atlantic region (composed of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia). 

The celebration also will include the opening of the Upward Bound Time Capsule. Students participating in the 1991 summer session created the time capsule to capture memories of their six-week academic summer session at the University Park campus. David Porter, Upward Bound teacher that year, will oversee the opening.

Now serving students in Clearfield, Huntingdon, Mifflin, and Dauphin Counties, Upward Bound has been highly successful in achieving its goals. More than 90 percent of Upward Bound students enroll in a postsecondary educational program, and 65 percent of the former students stay in their academic programs and graduate.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009