Upward Bound Celebrates 50th Anniversary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: 09-16-2015

Joe Wills
Public Affairs
530-898-4143

California State, University, Chico’s long-standing Upward Bound program is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a special event Saturday, Sept. 19, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the Bell Memorial Union Auditorium.

The proceeds for the event will benefit the Amy Kee Scholarship, an annual scholarship awarded to CSU, Chico Upward Bound seniors.

The celebration will include dinner, dancing and a silent auction. Please visit csucub50th.weebly.com to purchase tickets. If you need disability related accommodations, or for more information, please call Upward Bound at 530-898-5181 or visit the Student Services Center, room 392.

Upward Bound partners colleges and universities with under-resourced schools to expose students to college and prepare them for higher education. Students between the ages of 13 and 18 receive instruction in college readiness, literature, composition, mathematics and science. As mandated by Congress, two-thirds of Upward Bound students served must come from families with income at or below 150% of the federal poverty level or in which neither parent graduated from college. 

Over the past 50 years, nearly 3,000 North State high school students from low-income backgrounds have received services from CSU, Chico’s Upward Bound program. 

“Upward Bound has been a transformative program for thousands of North State students and their families,” said Maria Moreno, director of the Upward Bound program. “The Chico State program is one of the longest serving programs in the country. The inaugural cohort of the program included less than 50 students and now serves in excess of 300 students annually.”

CSU, Chico’s Upward Bound program was one of 218 programs funded in 1965, the second year of the federal program’s existence. Due to competition, many campus programs have lost their funding in recent years, but the CSU, Chico program has been continuously funded since its initial 1965 award and is one of only 25 campuses in the country to have two Upward Bound Math/Science grants.

Moreno said 190 people are currently registered to attend the anniversary gala Saturday. The large majority of attendees are former Upward Bound students, including one 1969 graduate of the program.

“The 50th anniversary of the program is cause for celebration because it allows us to recognize the five decades of teachers, staff, students, families and community members that have made Upward Bound the life-changing program it continues to be today,” said Moreno.

CSU, Chico President Paul Zingg will speak at the event about the program’s impact on diversity on campus and service to the North State. Other speakers include David Ferguson, Upward Bound director for 28 years and former Upward Bound student Guadalupe Casillas, who was the first recipient of the Amy Kee Scholarship in 2001 and knew Amy Kee personally.

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