PBSC Receives $3 Million in Federal Grants to Continue and Expand Upward Bound Program

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Upward Bound Director Syla Alcin, PBSC President Ava Parker, and U.S. Representative Lois Frankel celebrate the announcement of the Upward Bound Scholarships with students in the program.

U.S. Representative Lois Frankel recently announced that Palm Beach State College received $3 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Education to expand the Upward Bound TRIO college prep program.

Part of the funding will allow PBSC to launch an Upward Bound TRIO program in the Glades to serve Pahokee and Glades Central High Schools. This will mark the first Upward Bound TRIO program for high school students in the Glades region.

“While we know that not everyone needs to go to college to be successful in life, we know from experience that there are benefits to earning a college degree,” Frankel told students. high school, administrators, parents and PBSC leaders. announcement.

She referenced a Georgetown University study that reports college graduates earn $1 million more over their careers.

“This Upward Bound program gives young people a real opportunity to reach their full potential, so I’m very pleased that Palm Beach State is not only continuing their program, but adding to their program with this $3 million over five years,” said said Frankel.

Upward Bound is one of eight TRIO programs funded by the U.S. Department of Education, seven of which are designed to help people from disadvantaged backgrounds access higher education and complete their education.

“What’s special for us with this TRIO grant is that we can serve more students,” said PBSC President Ava Parker. “We can extend our services to the Glades. If we only help a few, that’s fine, but it’s so much better when we can help more students.

Upward Bound participants receive tutoring and academic and career counseling, and they participate in social, cultural, and educational activities, including field trips and college visits. Students enter the program in ninth or tenth grade and continue until they graduate from high school. Upward Bound staff are responsible for tracking student achievement for six years after high school graduation.

Upward Bound program director Syla Alcin said that in the 2020-2021 school year, 100% of seniors served achieved a proficiency level on state reading/language arts assessments. and in mathematics. More than 90% of participants continued their studies in the next school year or graduated from high school, and 52% enrolled in a post-secondary program.

“These are great accomplishments that couldn’t happen if we didn’t have the support of these programs and the community,” Alcin said.

In addition to Upward Bound, PBSC also operates the TRIO programs of Student Support Services, Talent Search, and Educational Opportunity Centers.

Melyne Cineas, a rising senior at G-Star High School who first entered the Upward Bound TRIO program when she was at Lake Worth High School, said she has been on college tours, received help with scholarship applications, attended workshops, prepared for college skills, and participated in other activities, including a trip to Atlanta where she visited state universities . “I love TRIO Upward Bound. It’s like a second family. It’s a second support system. My counselor and my peers have helped me be a great person and ready for college,” said she declared.

Kevin Alvarado Escobar, an incoming senior at Palm Beach Lakes High School, said the program helped him improve his studies and gain experiences he might not otherwise have received. “By participating in this program, I gained the trust of people I never thought I would meet,” he said.

The most recent grant will provide $286,527 per year to serve 60 students at Glades Central and Pahokee high schools. The first grant provides $312,480 per year for the original program established at PBSC in 1999. It will serve 65 students from John I. Leonard and Palm Beach Lakes High Schools.

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