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WC Upward Bound receives $1.2 million grant

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Weatherford College was recently awarded a five-year extension on a TRIO Upward Bound grant to serve high school students in the Gordon, Millsap, Mineral Wells and Springtown school districts.

The five-year, $1.2 million grant is awarded by the United States Department of Education for $257,500 each year beginning Sept. 1. WC has received annual funding for Upward Bound since 1999.

“Upward Bound allows students to expand their educational and professional opportunities,” said Jeff Kahlden, Director of Upward Bound at WC. “This funding will prepare students for successful employment in the future.”

Overall objectives for the grant are to help students be more successful in high school and better prepared for college. WC’s Upward Bound program has chosen to target 55 low-income, first-generation students in Parker and Palo Pinto counties.

“Upward Bound has been a big part of my college journey and has helped me with every step throughout college at WC and they will be with me as I transfer to Tarleton,” said Isaac Meza, Upward Bound alumnus and current WC student.

Upward Bound services include academic tutoring, advice and assistance in secondary and postsecondary course selection, preparation for college entrance exams, information on financial aid programs and assistance in completing financial aid forms, guidance on secondary school reentry/GED, entry into postsecondary education and financial literacy. Program services are divided into an academic year component and a summer component.

The academic year component includes weekly advising sessions, Saturday enrichment sessions, career exploration and cultural activities.

The summer component includes a six-week residential academy and Bridge Program which covers the cost of tuition for two college classes for each student in the summer after high school graduation. In addition, the program provides college tours and college exploration activities for the students in the program.

 “An opportunity like this helps students like me gain an advantage by laying a foundation for future success,” said Perla Hernandez, a recent Gordon High School graduate and future Texas State University student. “I’ve had the opportunity to go to college, make new friends with my UB classmates and get the help I needed to get ready for my next step of college.”