Upward Bound: Gaining Weight

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Upward Bound is a college access program under the federal Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement (TRiO) Programs. Established by former President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965, the program is home to many universities in Texas, but it is most prominent at Southern Methodist University (SMU). They provide course tutoring, standardized test preparation, college preview days and cultural enrichment experiences.

“Upward Bound helped me learn how to be an independent student and person,” senior Alyssa Johnson said. “I became more responsible with my school work and in terms of applying for college this year.”

Upward Bound at SMU serves over 10 schools in the Dallas County and Lakeview is a part of that select body of schools. Lakeview currently has 25 students who participate in the program.

“Being in this program has allowed me to see the different pathways that college has to offer,” senior Manuel Ruiz said. “The opportunities that I’ve gotten to receive have been very beneficial since being in the program. When choosing which college and career field I wanted to go into, they were right by my side every step of the way.”

Upward Bound works with all students of all backgrounds, but a large percentage of students in the program will be first-generation college students. The program also provides assistance to low-income families with standardized tests costs, college fee waivers, and free textbooks for the students courses.

“Being a first-generation college student is something I am very proud of,” Ruiz said. “I worked very hard to get where I am at, and it has paid off tremendously. I believe every first-generation college student should be proud of that title.”

Today, the program is still running stronger than ever, with more and more students wanting to join. As they try to serve more schools in the area, making a difference in students’ lives has been the force of this program pushing students to achieve more than they thought.

“I was able to do things I never would have been able to do otherwise,” Johnson said. “There are so many people at so many schools in my situation that could use the help.”

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