Preparing High School Students for College – Upward Bound is Back in Freeport

Freeport, Illinois —  Good news for students at Freeport High school as the Upward Bound program is making its way back to our city. Upward Bound is a program which helps eligible students prepare for college while attending Freeport high school. Upward Bound is a TRIO program funded by the Department of Education.

Sarah Leif, the new Upward Bound Coordinator at Highland Community College, says that TRIO programs help students overcome class, social, academic, and cultural barriers to higher education. Leif is a previous undergraduate from Highland Community College and a recent undergraduate from Northern Illinois University.  Upward Bound was created in 1965 and now serves approximately 53,000 students in 722 Upward Bound projects nationwide.

In addition to Leif, Anthony Sago serves as the Upward Bound director and has spent 13 years with the TRIO program at Highland Community College. The previous director of the Upward Bound program was Janet Plante who served Upward Bound for many years at the college.

Leif says she is excited to recruit students for the program and work with the Freeport School District.

“If you’ve even remotely thought about college for your children or your children have thought about what their future entails, Upward Bound is a program that can help you. Upward Bound helps students move through the possibility of college during high school.”

Leif says Upward Bound invests in the students futures with programs such as:

  • Academic Advising
  • Academic Coaching
  • College visits and information
  • Cultural Enrichment
  • Assistance with financial aid and scholarships
  • SAT preparation
  • Summer Academic classes
  • Career Internships and Community Involvement
  • Leadership Training

The pre-college Upward Bound Program is recruiting students for membership who have a strong desire to be the first in their family to earn a Bachelor’s degree. Potential members will currently be in grades 9th, 10th and 11th from Freeport high school. Most members continue with the program throughout high school. Upward Bound provides support, motivation and college preparation experience to 60 high school students from the Freeport School District.

To be eligible, parents or guardians at the home where the student resides may not have a four-year college degree; income levels may be considered. Upward Bound is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education; there is no cost to become a member.

For more information or to obtain an application, please email sarah.leif@highland.edu or call 815-599-3588.

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