||Schofield Hall 218|
||Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004|
Fifty High School Students Participate|
In Annual Upward Bound Program
MAILED: July 7, 1998|
EAU CLAIRE Fifty local high school students are getting a boost of support for their futures through the Upward Bound program at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
The program, in its eighth year at the university, is designed to offer guidance and support to high-potential high school students who come from low-income families and/or are the first generation in their families to go to college.
A six-week summer session, which this year began June 14 and continues through July 24, is the highlight of the program.
"The whole idea was to give students who face various economic, social or cultural barriers an opportunity or a hand up," said Kimamo Wahome, director of UW-Eau Claire's Upward Bound program.
Education is supposed to be the great equalizer, but not everyone is given an equal chance to get a higher education, Wahome said.
"Implicit in the notion of equal opportunity is the idea of equal access to equal opportunity," he said.
Upward Bound continues year-round, centering on the summer session during which participants enroll in science, math, English and social studies courses. English as a Second Language classes are available for those who need them and all students take elective classes in arts and languages in the afternoons.
While the program's staff is strict about the academic component, Wahome said they try to have a holistic approach and to make the program fun. In addition to the regular classes, students are involved in community-service projects, physical education classes, cultural events, social activities, and college, personal and career guidance.
During the academic year, Upward Bound students are tutored once a week and the program offers a group activity once a month, Wahome said.
Students in the program said they feel lucky and grateful that they have had an opportunity not offered to everyone.
High school junior Chang Lor compared Upward Bound to a big brother, adding that, as the eldest child in his family, he didn't have role models to guide him through his education.
"I think it's really fun and really helpful," said Margaret Everett, a senior who is looking into attending San Diego State University. "It's given me a lot of support, (to) my family members, also. It's helped me to find the colleges and general information about admittance that I need."
Each summer the group takes a trip to different college campuses, Everett said. This year they're going to UW-Madison and Edgewood College.
"If one student has a special request to visit a specific campus, (the Upward Bound staff) will make sure we get there," she said.
Even if the whole group can't go, the staff will get the student information about the university and help the student visit the campus on his/her own.
For junior Stephanie Aspen, interacting with people she might not otherwise meet is the most enjoyable part of the program.
"You're together working for a common goal," Everett said.
"It's like a family," said Senior Mary Lee. "We're working together to get something done."
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: July 7, 1998