The Upward Bound program at Virginia Tech has been awarded a five-year, $1.85 million grant by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education, TRIO Programs.

Upward Bound is one of six federal TRIO Programs designed as educational opportunity outreach programs to assist first-generation college and disabled students in progressing from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs.

The first-year allocation of the grant – $462,993 – will be supplemented by an in-kind contribution from Virginia Tech that includes a suite of eight adjoining rooms, access to a number of classrooms, and other services on campus.

The two TRIO programs at Virginia Tech, Talent Search and Upward Bound, are directed by Kimberly Andrews and administered jointly as part of the university's Office of Engagement. Thousands of students have benefited from services offered by the programs since Upward Bound was established at the university in 1967 and Talent Search in 1973.

"The renewal of the Upward Bound grant will provide us with the privilege to serve participants from 10 jurisdictions in southwest Virginia for another five years," Andrews said. "The grant will be used to provide underrepresented students, particularly low-income and first-generation students, with opportunities to engage in educational and cultural activities that will improve their precollege performance and prepare them to successfully pursue a postsecondary education."

The Upward Bound mission is accomplished through a combination of individual and group tutoring, educational and personal counseling, and trips to various colleges in and out of the state, Andrews said. She added that, most important, students have the opportunity to attend a six-week residential component at Virginia Tech, with an intensive curriculum that will prepare them for their upcoming year in high school or college.

Additional information and applications for the Virginia Tech Upward Bound and Talent Search programs are available on the website or by calling 540-231-6911.

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