Tusculum College Upward Bound celebrated its 40th anniversary this past year. Upward Bound made its debut at Tusculum in 1973 when it launched with a mission to aid first-generation college students and those challenged by socio-economic hardships.
According to Jeanne Stokes, director of the program, Upward Bound still strives to assist high school students in achieving success in a rigorous academic curriculum, as well as preparing them to excel in college and post-secondary education. “Upward Bound’s ultimate goal is for each of its participants to graduate with a four-year degree, or even better with a master’s degree and beyond,” she said.
There were 139 students ranging from grades 9-12 who participated in the program this past year and attended the anniversary celebrations. These celebrations included a super-sized birthday cake for students and their families, as well as neon-colored t-shirts for all participants with the 40th Anniversary emblem on the front and inspirational words on the back.
This year approximately 90 students lived on the campus for the six-week program and attended classes during the day and participated in evening activities. According to Stokes, unlike many strictly academia-based programs, Upward Bound has a unique cultural component as well. Students attend concerts, tour museums, watch plays and musicals, as well as visit unique cities enriched in a wealth of the country’s history such as Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago and New Orleans.
“Not only does Upward Bound introduce students to a world often beyond the narrow scope to which they were born, but through the years Upward Bound has made it a charge to open students’ eyes to the plight of those in their very own backyard,” said Stokes.
“It achieves this by maintaining a very strong emphasis on academic success, as well as service learning.”
This summer alone, Upward Bound students gave back to the community with more than 500 hours of their time at the Humane Society, Plaza Towers and other community agencies.
“Reaching this milestone is quite an accomplishment in this fiscal climate when many Department of Education programs are being cut. We would love to hear from former participants and their accomplishments,” said Stokes.
Upward Bound is funded by the US Department of Education and sponsored by Tusculum College.
To contact Stokes or for more information about Upward Bound, call 423-636-7325.