GRCC Upward Bound program receives 50-thousand dollar gift
Caroline MacGregor January 28, 2013 | WGVU GRCC’s successful Upward Bound program at Creston and Ottawa Hills high schools allows students first-hand insight of college life while sharpening their skills in core classes that prepare them for a degree.
This weekend, Mercantile Bank representatives showed their ongoing support for the program with a 50-thousand dollar gift announced during Mayor George Heartwell’s State of the City address Saturday.
Raynard Ross, director of GRCC’s Upward Bound program says the funding is critical to individual student success and gratefully received by staff and students. Upward Bound is a pre-college program that has been around nationwide since the 60’s and in Grand Rapids since the early 80’s.
“We've really had some outstanding success. I know in our particular program, roughly 93-94 percent of students go on to post secondary education in the year immediately following high school graduation.”
Ross says the biggest component is a six week summer enrichment program where students focus on English, Math, Science and Foreign Language. They also participate in leadership activities, community service as well as college business around the state and even nationwide. Students who perform well during the summer sessions take part in out of town trips that focus on culture exploration and educational opportunities that other cities have to offer.
The Upward Bound program also received a 20-thousand dollars from the AT&T Foundation Aspire program to launch three Success Clubs that provide additional activities for students.
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