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Oklahoma City - An OSU Degree in OKC.

OSU-OKC Upward Bound program renewed for 5 years

The OSU-OKC Upward Bound Program has been notified that its grant has been renewed for another 5 years from the U.S. Department of Education.  The competition received over 1,600 applications, and around 966 have been funded. 

The grant will serve 78 students from Western Heights and Putnam City West High Schools.

“My main motivators are my mom and Upward Bound,” said OSU-OKC Upward Bound student Alfonso Castanon. “Without Upward Bound, I wouldn’t even think about going to college. It has helped me tremendously.” 

UB is the first of the groups of educational programs referred to as TRIO. It was created in 1964 under the Educational Opportunity Act during President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty. Upward Bound’s goal is to assist first-generation college and under-resourced students receive the necessary skills to assist in bridging the gap from high school to post-secondary. 

OSU-OKC Upward Bound student Chantal Eudave said Upward Bound helped show her that anything is possible as a first-generation college student.

“Without Upward Bound, I wouldn’t have known how to fill out my Oklahoma Promise or apply for FAFSA,” Eudave said. “Without it, I would be lost in high school with no plan for college.”

Upward Bound has been on the OSU-OKC campus since 1995, offering academic enrichment, counseling and leadership opportunities. There is no cost for students to attend Upward Bound, and guidelines are set by the U.S. Department of Education including income, education level of parents and academic need.

Nathan Villalpando, OSU-OKC Upward Bound student, said the program taught him flexibility.

“I never imagined I would learn or experience what I have, whether it be college tours or volunteering,” Villalpando said. “I have learned it is okay not to have life figured out immediately. No matter what happens, it is not the end of the world. I learned to be flexible and manage with whatever is thrown my way.”

Upward Bound services are broken down into 3 components:

Academic Year

College campus tours, monthly campus meetings, career exploration, community service opportunities, post-secondary information and advisement, scholarship, and financial aid help. 

Summer Sessions

Students engage in six-week academic enrichment courses on the OSU-OKC campus, which include math, English, foreign language, lab science, leadership activities, campus visits, life skills, and educational cultural trips

Bridge year

Seniors have the opportunity to earn a scholarship that pays for up to six college credit hours at OSU-OKC following high school graduation for the summer semester.  

The renewal for OSU-OKC will be $2,000,020 over 5 years, or $404,000 every year.  So far in this grant cycle, 23 UB programs in Oklahoma have been funded; OSU-OKC is the state’s fourth-largest.

The new grant was written by the Upward Bound Team consisting of Donovan Kelso, Mitzi Berousek, and former Academic Counselor Ana Escobar Lopez. 

For more information, please contact the Upward Bound office at (405) 945-8623 or visit us in the Science Building room 110.