CSU, Chico News

Local High School Students Experience College During Summer Residential Program

Date: 06-08-2015

Zach Phillips
Public Affairs
Maria Moreno, director
Upward Bound

Upward Bound Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Supporting College-Bound Students

Approximately 230 area high school students will be moving into Lassen and Shasta halls starting June 14 as part of California State University, Chico’s Upward Bound program.

The six-week summer program is only one component of Upward Bound Projects, a federally funded year-round program that provides academically promising low-income and first-generation college-bound students with valuable resources for navigating a four-year university. It is the University’s longest running grant program, founded in 1966 and currently celebrating its 50th anniversary; it serves 18 schools in seven counties.

During the summer program, students move in to the CSU, Chico dorms, attend college preparatory classes and are placed at a worksite, allowing them to explore future career options. Students also participate in special events, including an annual career fair, a multicultural fair and various community service opportunities. One of those opportunities is the largest annual Bidwell Park cleanup operation in Chico planned for June 19.

Of the four separate federal grants that fund Upward Bound at CSU, Chico, two are dedicated to introducing students to the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Upward Bound director Maria Moreno—a CSU, Chico Upward Bound alumna—says that these courses are often students’ first introduction to STEM-related fields like computer science and robotics. Upward Bound also teaches its students practical and logistical skills that are necessary to thrive at a four-year university, including registering for classes and applying for financial aid.

In honor of the program’s 50th anniversary at CSU, Chico, Moreno says that Upward Bound is celebrating the success of its many alumni—1,831 graduates, to be exact—and connecting some of them with the high school students currently enrolled in the program.

“They’re from the same high schools, they have the same background. That’s just really impactful and powerful for our kids,” Moreno said. “We all had that Chico State summer experience, whether we were from Gridley, Oroville or Hamilton City.”

Moreno says that, aside from the practical and career-related experience that Upward Bound students gain, the summer program also forges long-lasting friendships. “You’re eating with these people that you don’t know, you’re sharing a home for six weeks with these people, and so that community experience—just by the end of those six weeks—it builds a family.”

To learn more about CSU, Chico’s Upward Bound program, please visit http://csucub.csuchico.edu.