News » Upward Bound: Forging Ahead for Community Empowerment and Support

Upward Bound: Forging Ahead for Community Empowerment and Support

The Upward Bound Program in GW’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) is rolling into 2013 with high energy and purpose. Developed with the express purpose of leveling the educational playing field, Upward Bound, one of eight United States Department of Education (DoEd) TRIO programs, exposes low-income and potential first-generation college students to the academic and cultural tools and resources necessary for college graduation. 

In addition to offering high school participants the general, DoEd-approved core courses of English literature and composition; integrated mathematics, laboratory science and foreign language, Upward Bound incorporates SAT/ACT prep sessions, weekly tutoring, spring/summer college tours, and seasonal internships into the annual programming schedule. Due to its unique location in SMHS, GW’s Upward Bound program offers students the opportunity to explore the medicine and the health sciences fields. Upward Bound participants benefit directly from the time and services of SMHS faculty, staff, and students working together to assist in our mission of targeting students with medical/health science interests and providing opportunities for internships, workshops, and increasing career awareness.

Among the goals and objectives for 2013, GW’s Upward Bound program seeks to exhaust all possible resource outlets and encourage more support from the SMHS community by boosting visibility and communication efforts through a new website, periodic fundraisers, e-newsletter articles, open house events, and an upcoming mentorship program that will pair Upward Bound students with faculty and staff from the SMHS community and beyond.

At the core of these efforts though are the students themselves, local secondary students who attend District of Columbia public and charter schools in Wards 5, 6, and 7. For many, a college degree is considered an everyday aspiration. But for our student population, education — specifically higher education — is not always an obvious choice or a conceivable option. There are obstacles unseen, barriers unexposed, and resources untapped, leaving able minds unchallenged. We want to open the eyes of present and future participants and afford them the chance to explore an alternate universe of possibilities.

While Upward Bound participants are the heart of this program, the support received from school and community partners has been its backbone in assisting programming from non-local travel for college tours to campus meals and dormitory housing for the annual six-week summer program. As the program continues into its 14th year at SMHS, Upward Bound needs more support than ever, so we urge faculty, staff, and students to answer the call for immediate action by offering available academic resources, departmental services, and personal time and effort to help secure a bright future for tomorrow’s leaders.

To learn more about SMHS Upward Bound, donate and/or volunteer support and services, visit our website, listed below.

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