The Perks Of Upward Bound


Raushanah Boone, Staff Writer

 Upward Bound is a governmental program for first generation and low income college bound students. Here at Hillcrest High School, 3 Seeds Trio mentoring program has approximately sixty students enrolled in their Upward Bound program. I am currently enrolled in Upward Bound, and I couldn’t be happier. A lot of students at Hillcrest aren’t aware of Upward Bound and the perks that come along with it .

First and foremost, students should be informed on the educational aspect of Upward Bound. Upward Bound is initially designed to help disadvantaged students have an opportunity to get assistance regarding the college process. With that being said, we fill out plenty of scholarships, write essays , and apply to colleges. With the assistance of our brilliant mentors, all of our college dreams are coming true. Things that seemed so far away is now approaching closer and closer as the college search continues.

On the more fun side of things, we go on college tour trips in several different states such as Atlanta and Washington D.C. The experience that we have on the college tour trips is something many of us never experienced before. Some students in the Upward Bound program never visited any state outside of Illinois, so the college tour helps widen their college search. During the trips not only do we visit many different colleges but we also go to fun places. For instance we went to an escape room in both Atlanta and Washington D.C., and we had lots of fun.

Many of us have never been to an escape room so the first time experience was super exciting. Outside of the escape room, we go to nice restaurants and stay in luxury hotels. We also play many team bonding skill games at the hotels which helps you gain lifelong friends. The good thing about Upward Bound is your surrounded by a lot of students that are just like you. When you are in an environment where everyone around you wants to succeed, it helps you gain motivation to fight all the odds that try to hold you back. Everyone has different story lines and different perspectives as well so it helps mold you mentally in the most beneficial way.

Also, Upward Bound goes on many trips and adventures catered to each student’s future career choices. For instance during the summer time, we explored many career options such as nursing, acting, law and many more. When the summer first started, I was so sure about what I wanted to do with my life, but then at the end I wasn’t so sure.

When you are exposed to many different careers and ideas, your mind starts to expand and advance in ways you never thought it could. Another perk of Upward Bound is the different activities that we do that allows us to gain self identity and better communication skills. What I mean by that is, we do many activities that require you to think about who you are and speak on it.

One activity requires a ball that has plenty of questions on it. The questions are geared towards personal things about yourself such as “What experience in your life helps mold you into the person you are today?” We throw the ball to everyone in the room, so everyone is allowed a chance to answer one of the questions out loud and proud. After everyone has gone we sometimes continue to play because by that time we are all really comfortable, and we tend to be having real fun feeding off each other’s stories.

Upward Bound is not just some boring college program students join to get to college. It speaks greater volumes that tend to lay heavy on one’s heart. The program is an eye opener and a game changer. It helps grow you into the person you always thought you could be but didn’t have the resources to do so.

I would encourage all students to try their hardest to join Upward Bound because starting this summer half of the program will be rising seniors in college. With that being said, there will be about thirty students that will be blessed with an opportunity to be a part of everything I just spoke for.

Please, if you’re reading this and you’re going to be a rising junior or sophomore at Hillcrest High School, find out more information about how to join Upward Bound. You will have the time of your life and learn things that will expand your thinking . Upward Bound is a great program, and there’s no excuse not to join. If you think that you won’t have money to attend the trips and go on all the many trips and adventures, you are wrong. Upward Bound is a non-profit that pays for every little thing you do with them down to every meal. You can go on one of the college tour trips and not bring a single dollar, and I assure you that you will be greatly taken care of .