GH College gets $2.87M for Upward Bound programs

A federally-funded program aimed at helping high school students from low income families pursue higher education gave $2.87 million to Grays Harbor College to carry forward that mission.

TRIO Upward Bound awarded the money to the college in two separate grants to establish programs at Hoquiam, Ocosta and Raymond high schools in September that will run for five years. Both programs have been funded at $287,537 annually for five years, the college said in a statement announcing the funding.

Ocosta and Raymond high schools will share an Upward Bound program, while Hoquiam will have its own program. The program at Ocosta and Raymond will handle up to 30 students in ninth through 12th grade annually at each school, while the program at Hoquiam will serve up to 60 students each year.

Grays Harbor College can also apply to renew funding for the program after the fifth year.

“We are excited to have received these grants and to be working with our partners in Grays Harbor (County) and Pacific County schools,” said JEB Thornton, who is director of grant development and administration at the college, in a statement.

“We believe Upward Bound will provide new opportunities to local students that will help prepare them for the challenges of postsecondary education and will ultimately help them achieve their full potential.”

The money awarded to the college can be used to cover a variety of services, such as academic support and tutoring, assistance with college and financial aid applications and academic advising. Those services also include ACT and SAT preparation and college tours, as well as field trips, performances and special events.

“Upward Bound is a very competitive, national grant program and this is a great honor and accomplishment for our community,” said Cal Erwin-Svoboda, vice president of student services at the college, in a statement.

“Upward Bound and other programs like it offer much-needed educational access and student success resources and we are thrilled to provide this opportunity to students in our area.”

Upward Bound is one of the U.S. Department of Education’s eight TRIO programs, which help low-income people gain access to higher education. The programs are 100 percent federally funded.