Thirty-eight students from five area high schools formally committed to the Upward Bound program during an induction ceremony at Big Bend Community College on April 23.
Mostly high school freshmen, they started a journey to college in front of family and friends. They have joined a federal TRiO program that helps low-income and first-generation students enter and succeed in college.
The students will have access to personal advising, career planning, and tutoring. A six-week summer academy in BBCC’s residence halls provides a college-like experience for students.
BBCC’s Upward Bound program serves 112 students-freshmen to seniors from Moses Lake, Warden, Othello, Royal City, and Lake Roosevelt High School. It is the oldest TRiO Upward Bound program in the state, serving local students since 1967.
“Upward Bound students are four times more likely to earn a Bachelor’s degree than students of similar backgrounds who didn’t receive Upward Bound support,” said Anita DeLeon, Director of Upward Bound at BBCC.
“No matter what their background, our country needs students who are academically prepared and motivated to succeed,” DeLeon said.
Moses Lake Mayor Bill Ecret and BBCC President Terry Leas both spoke at the ceremony to encourage and thank the students for making a commitment to pursue higher education.