Office of Public Affairs

Upward Bound gives high school juniors and seniors a college campus experience … and fun!

by Upward Bound Student Brittany Tanguay

Many students have a summer dilemma: what do they do with all their free time? A large group of southern Maine students are spending their summer well attending Upward Bound at USM.

This summer, 60 students from Biddeford, Massabesic, Bonny Eagle, Portland, Deering, Casco Bay, Sacopee Valley, and Sanford High Schools are a part of Upward Bound at USM, a federally funded program. These students come from income eligible families and/or families in which neither parent has completed a four-year bachelor’s degree.

During their time at Upward Bound, students live in dorm rooms with a roommate. Throughout the six-week program, they attend classes, have internships, tour colleges, and participate in a variety of cultural and learning experiences. Some of the field trips students go on are ropes courses, kayaking, or seeing a play at a theatre. By attending classes and working at internships, students receive a financial stipend that they can choose to keep in their pocket or put into a savings account.

The internships are given to students based on what they think their career path may be. The whole “work day” is about five and a half hours long for two days a week for three weeks. In those six days, students may find they don’t really like that career path, or build their passion for it.

Being a part of Upward Bound means a different thing to each student. For some, attending Upward Bound might mean they get to experience a variety of events they might not otherwise get a chance to experience. To other students, being a part of Upward Bound might mean they get extra help applying to colleges. In either case, students receive the opportunity to experience college life and have a fun way to spend the summer.

Upward Bound students visit colleges in Maine and in New England. They take a number of college tours throughout the summer to get the feel of what a college and its environment are like. While on these tours, students may or may not find the perfect school they wish to attend.

Preparing for the SATs, writing college essays, and applying to colleges are not the only things Upward Bound does for students. Upward Bound helps students grow, and helps them to reach their full potential. Students are encouraged to step out of their comfort zone and experience new things.

For more information about Upward Bound, contact Laurie J. Davis, executive director, 780-5203.