CSUN’s Upward Bound buys another five years with $1 million federal grant
Once described as a shy high school student who hid behind his hands, Upward Bound alumnus David Coorough is now actively involved in college, studying cinema and television arts at CSUN.
Coorough said being able to attend college is just one of many positive outcomes from the Upward Bound program.
“Now I voice my opinion and I’m more sociable. Upward Bound had a lot to do with that,” said Coorough. “Take full advantage of the program, the possibilities and the learning environment because it really does give you a head up.”
The U.S Department of Education recently awarded nearly $9 million in grants to CSU for the Upward Bound Programs. CSUN’s University Corporation will receive $1 million of the total grant to continue CSUN’s Classic Program for another five years.
Coorough joined CSUN’s Upward Bound program his freshman year at Verdugo Hills High School. The program helped him apply to college and continue his education. Now entering his second year at CSUN, Coorough works part-time for the summer Upward Bound program.
Coorough’s success story is one out of thousands from the federally funded Upward Bound program . The program assists low-income, first-generation high school students who are continuing their education through college.
The new funding will go towards continuing services ranging from free tutoring and college visits to educational and cultural enrichment events, said Martin Perez, the upward bound program director.
The award will also help fund a six week summer program where students live on campus, as well as instruction on college applications and assisting with financial aid and scholarships
“If we didn’t get refunded we would only have four or five months to go out to high schools, and instead of continuing services it would be finalizing services, and then saying goodbye to them,” said Perez. “That’s how important these funds are.
“We are able to add five more years of services in getting students to college who may fall between the cracks eventually if it wasn’t for Upward Bound.”
Perez said the ultimate goal is to provide local high school students services from when they are ninth-graders up until they are seniors. They offer variety of motivating services to carry them through high school and ultimately to go to a college or university of their choice.
“These are kids that really don’t have or wouldn’t ordinarily get the assistance. Especially from the parents side [in terms] of what the process is on getting them to finish high school and getting them at least applying to college,” said Perez. “And ultimately getting them enrolled.”
CSUN students can get involved through the Outreach Program and be hired as residential advisors, tutors and student assistance for hands on work. Perez said he really uses his resources on campus to help students see a light in their future education.