Upward Bound’s mission is to help participants successfully complete high school and pursue post-secondary education.

During the school year, we provide weekly, individualized school visits to review academic progress, help set challenging academic goals, assist with career exploration and complete the college search process. In return, participants are expected to complete a rigorous high school curriculum and maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average.

Our program offers a variety of activities to enrich participants’ preparation for college and careers. These activities include:

  • standardized test preparation (SAT, ACT, etc.)
  • career awareness workshops
  • community service projects
  • internships
  • leadership development and team building activities
  • financial aid literacy and scholarship application workshops
  • college visits and advising through college selection

These activities are available during the Academic Year via Saturday College and within a summer experience called Summer College.

Saturday College

Saturday College is held during the school year except September, January and June. On various Saturdays throughout the Academic Year, Upward Bound students participate in grade-specific seminars including:

  • college and scholarship application completion for 12th graders
  • college entrance test preparation for 11th graders
  • college and career readiness exploration for 9th and 10th graders

In addition, participants engage in a variety of community service opportunities, cultural activities, and college preparatory workshops.

Summer College

Summer College is a six-week program for all rising 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grade Upward Bound participants.  The program is held at UVM and consists of a leadership trip, an intensive academic enrichment curriculum, and a college/career immersion experience.

  • Academic Enrichment Curriculum is a five-week program which consists of courses in literature and composition, mathematics through pre-calculus, laboratory sciences, foreign language, SAT/ACT preparation, and other subjects. Courses are taught by college faculty,  high school teachers, and/or other qualified professionals in the community.
  • College/Career Immersion Experience provides opportunities for our participants to visit colleges and experience a more in-depth exposure to residential and campus life. Three to four colleges are visited during the Summer College - each trip includes an overnight experience, college tour, Admissions presentation followed by a community service project, career site visit, and/or a cultural event. 
  • Leadership Trip is offered at the end of Summer College following the five-week curriculum program. The focus is to build a sense of community, self-reliance and self-confidence within a structured, well-supervised schedule of activities. The Leadership Trip includes travel beyond the Burlington area and includes college tours, cultural events and community service.

During Summer College, Upward Bound participants are eligible to receive stipends of up to $15/week. To receive the weekly stipend participants must complete all of their coursework and participation expectations.