The Upward Bound students at Laramie High School are heading to Colorado to look at colleges on Oct. 24-26.

This is a unique chance for students as they will get to spend two nights in Colorado, visit several colleges, participate in cultural activities, and enjoy meals. All of this is at absolutely no cost to the students.

Upward Bound is a college preparatory program available to students around the United States. It is funded by the United States Department of Education under the Trio grant. This is a great opportunity for students, as the federal funding makes the program entirely free.

At Laramie High School, they meet weekly. The Laramie High School sponsor is Mr. Spicer. The students meet in his room after school.

“We are currently serving a total of 20 students… and would love to serve more!” program director Pam Richardson said.

Upward Bound specifically targets lower income students and students who would be first-generation if they were to attend college. Their goal is to increase the number of first-generation and low-income students who earn a college degree.

There mission is to create a supportive learning environment, encourage academic success, provide the skills and motivation necessary to enter college successfully, and to cultivate a positive regard for self and others.

There are a few income requirements to participate, but they are waived if neither of the student’s parents has received a four-year college degree. The student must also have a cumulative G.P.A. higher than 2.00 and plan on attending a four-year college. 

The program aims to help eligible students raise their high school G.P.A. to a level needed for college entry. They also prepare students for the college and financial aid application process.

The students involved in Upward Bound receive year-round academic support. This includes required weekly tutoring sessions and standardized exam preparation. They offer each student a personal mentor and college counseling sessions. Depending on a student’s G.P.A. and program participation, they may be eligible for a forty-dollar monthly stipend through the program.

“It’s our belief that field trips offer real experiences and the opportunity for students to manipulate information first-hand,” Richardson said.

Participants also have the unique opportunity to attend a six-week long summer program at the University of Wyoming’s campus.This gives students summer access to educational enrichment and various recreational/social activities. All parts of the summer program are free.

Perhaps the best opportunity available to Upward Bound students is eligibility to apply for the Bridge Scholarship. The scholarship is for students who consistently meet their goals and attend sessions regularly. Students who receive this scholarship may take up to six college credits at the University of Wyoming in the summer after their senior year. During this summer, Upward Bound pays for students’ room, board, books, student fees, and tuition.