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TRIO Upward Bound begins summer program on campus

  • group of students

Posted on June 14, 2017

Seventy high school students from Grand Rapids are participating in Grand Valley's TRIO Upward Bound summer program, which began this week.

The students, from Innovation Central and Union high schools, are staying in North C Living Center on the Allendale Campus and getting a head start on their classes for the upcoming school year.

Josh Brandsen, director of TRIO Upward Bound, said each student takes four classes during the day and is required to attend two study table periods. The six-week program culminates with a week-long cultural trip to New York City, where Brandsen said they will tour colleges and visit attractions.

TRIO Upward Bound is a federally funded program that assists high school students who would be first-generation college students and who meet income guidelines.

The program, which serves 100 students, recently received a five-year, $2.16 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education. 

Brandsen said Grand Valley's program ranks high among all TRIO Upward Bound programs as it touts 100 percent retention and high school graduation rates, and has done so for many consecutive years. More than 90 percent of Upward Bound participants enroll in college.

The program has operated continuously at Grand Valley since 1978, Brandsen said.

"With our program, we meet with our students year-round for classes and after-school tutoring," he said. "It's a family. You build relationships throughout high school and get to know the students and their families."