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Upward Bound alums, parents rally to keep it in federal budget

Upward Bound alum Amy Lehigh, and parent of alum Jackie Allard.
Tracy Samilton
Michigan Radio
Upward Bound alum Amy Lehigh (left), and parent of alum Jackie Allard.

Many programs are on the chopping block in President Trump's proposed budget.

That includes the Upward Bound program, which helps rural low-income kids who are the first in their families to go to college.

Upward Bound is for students in 9th-12th grades, offering field trips along with academic instruction in subjects like math, literature and foreign languages.  Students learn how to study in college, how to take good notes, and what to expect once they get on campus.

Upward Bound culminates with a six-week session held on a college campus, where the students attend classes, live in a dorm together and form a community.

Amy Lehigh was one of a small group of people who attended a rally in downtown Sault Ste. Marie this weekend.  She is an Upward Bound alum.  She's now a tutor for the program, as well as a student at Lake Superior State University.

Lehigh is the first in her family to go to college, and says Upward Bound is a crucial help for students like her. 

"We don't really have a whole lot of support for low-income rural children," says Lehigh. 

Jackie Allard and her daughter Samantha also attended the rally.  Samantha Allard is now a fourth-year student at Lake Superior State University.

Allard says Upward Bound helped her once-shy daughter become more confident.  For others, she's seen the program work wonders.

"You take a high school dropout and help them to become a college graduate," says Allard.  "How strong is that?"

Supporters of Upward Bound say it's especially crucial to prepare Native American students for college.



Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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