Upward Bound celebrates 50 years

The program helps students graduate high school and college.

WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)- For some people, college may seem like an unattainable goal. The application process can be overwhelming or some students may feel college is not right for them.

At Wilkes University this weekend, a group of students and staff had a reason to celebrate. They've been helping young people graduate high school and college for 50 years.

"We would love to see another 50 years on this campus," says Dawn Harding, the program director of Upward Bound.

During the academic year, the Wilkes University program prepares students for college by offering financial and career counseling, workplace and college visits, even a chance to take advanced level courses.

Over the summer, selected students get the change to be part of the residential program.

"They actually stay in a dorm, they eat in a cafeteria, they take four academic classes in the morning," says Harding.

Giving high school students like E.J. Gill and edge going into the fall semester.

"I have two ACT classes which will prepare me to take the ACT test," says Gill.

Like some students his age, college seemed unattainable. Gill says the application process alone can be daunting.

"Going away from home and not being around family ... no one in my family rally has gone away from college," says Gill.

Now he's one step closer to that dream because of the individualized support he gets through Upward Bound. The U.S. Department of Education granted the program its largest award yet of $1.9 million.

"They read through all our statistics to make sure our program really is working," says Harding. "They compare it to how many graduates are going to be at the state level without this program.

Neil Murphy graduated from the program and now attends Wilkes University. He thanks the program for getting him there.

"It helped me with my social skills, helped me study, and helped to get the courage to reach out to my teachers," says Murphy.


  • NEPA Air Show Ticket Giveaway
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • My Favorite Book
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Christmas In July
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Golf Challenge
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Community Appearance
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest News

Video Center