NMH Upward Bound is celebrating 43 years of service to our local communities. The program was awarded a four-year grant by the Department of Education for $346,530 in May 2007 in an extremely competitive national grant process. Additional funding for the program comes from the Davis Foundation, the Edwin S. Webster Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts.
One of our 2009 scholars received the prestigious Christian Herter Scholarship, which is awarded to only 25 students across the state. The scholarship recognizes students who demonstrate strong academic records, community service, and leadership, and who have overcome significant obstacles. The scholarship will cover up to half of the student's demonstrated need at any college.
Upward Bound students have made impressive gains:
- 97 percent of students showed an increase of 20 points or better on SAT verbal and math sections
- 100 percent of students served were retained or graduated from high school
- 100 percent of seniors enrolled in a program of postsecondary education
- 91 percent of graduates have either completed a program of postsecondary education or are currently on track to complete a program within six years
- 76 percent of all students tested improved their score by 20 percent or better on the English Post tests
- 97 percent of all students tested improved their score by 20 percent or better on the Math Post tests
Upward Bound Alumni are excelling in every field, including engineering, law, education, business, medicine, and social services.
Parent support is a critical component of the program. The Parent Advisory Council has become very active in supporting their children's college dreams. Over the past three years, parents have raised over $20,000 in scholarships to help with unmet need. Last year each graduate was given a small scholarship to help with college costs. An endowment has been established in order to secure the long-term future of the program.
Recent graduates (2005–2010) are attending colleges such as Bard College, Brandeis University, Brown University, Beloit College, Franklin and Marshall College, Middlebury College, Smith College, Simmons College, the College of the Holy Cross, American International College, Springfield College, Elms College, and the University of Massachusetts, as well as many Massachusetts state colleges, universities, and community colleges.
Every year we turn away up to 100 qualified students because of inadequate funding. Many eligible and motivated students who really need the services are excluded because of limited funding.