What is Upward Bound?
Upward Bound has been hosted at Portland State University since 1980 and provides fundamental support to students in their preparation for college entrance. They work to provide opportunities for students to succeed in their precollege performance and be able to successfully pursue higher education. They serve high school students from low-income families and students from families in which neither parent holds a bachelor’s degree.
Upward Bound proposed a mentorship program to be implemented this coming Fall that will work to engage and assist students in completing critical steps for entry into college. Four interventions they will use to assist students are:
- Ensure students prepare for, and take, the appropriate college entrance exam early.
- Assist students in their college search.
- Coordinate college visits.
- Assist students in completing college applications.
Building Authentic Relationships, Redistributing Power & Building a Social Justice Framework
Mentors will work to engage with students and provide a network of advising, workshops and assistance to further develop skills and relationships with the students. The program will help to prepare and further educate youth in order to redistribute power. Their work encourages youth to work towards their highest potential and implements a framework that encourages critical thinking and advocacy of a social justice framework. They do this by addressing the dynamics of oppression, privilege, and isms in education and society. The success of Upward Bound and TRIO continues to provide more and more students with access to resources and guidance in their education.
We worked with Upward Bound to provide preliminary research for creating a mentorship program. We gathered information and formed it into an annotated bibliography about mentorship program efficacy, design and mentor training. We were able to find a lot of extensive and helpful research about mentoring and how effective it can be. Some of what we found included that mentor programs that last longer than 12 months seem to be the most effective and have results that positively effect students. A mentorship program is exactly what Upward Bound can use to provide even more guidance and access to learning potential than they already do. During our time volunteering and working with the teachers and students of Upward Bound we agree was a great experience. We liked being able to talk with the students individually and see how they are benefitting from the program. We hope to work more with the program and others like it in the future as well as dedicate our time and experiences to the growth of students in programs like Upward Bound!