The U.S. Department of Education recently awarded Yolanda Haywood, MD, RESD ’87, BA ’81, associate dean for diversity, inclusion, and student affairs and associate professor of emergency medicine, at the George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS), $1.2 million for the Upward Bound program.
Upward Bound is a national program geared toward students who will be the first generation in their families to attend college. The program was the first of what is now referred to as the federal TRIO programs, owing its existence to the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 as part of the administration’s War on Poverty campaign. The program at SMHS serves D.C. public school students in Wards 5, 6, 7, and parts of Ward 8.
The program is directed by Jessica Castillo, and supported by Diahna Brown. Haywood has been the principal investigator for about eight years of Upward Bound’s over two decades at GW.
The five-year grant will allow SMHS to continue support for its Upward Bound students, which starts its cycle in September.
“The money from this grant will provide support and academic enrichment programming for the students,” Haywood explained. While a part of the Upward Bound program, students have access to valuable resources such as SAT tutoring, and college tours. The program also provides students with lunches and transportation to and from the sessions.
The Department of Education awards the grant to schools and programs that fit a certain criteria. An Upward Bound program, for example, must demonstrate an understanding of the target population in the community where the institution is located. The department also looks for a curriculum that is designed to get students matriculated into college, the primary goal of the program.
“When I think about my own life and what I was interested in as a young person, it was all based on what my parents did, and what the neighbors did, because that’s what I knew,” Haywood said. “We want their eyes to be open to the length and depth of the careers and opportunities that are available to them.”
To learn more about the Upward Bound program hosted by SMHS, visit https://smhs.gwu.edu/upward-bound/.