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Shepherd University Upward Bound Program Receives $1.5 Million Grant


Shepherd University’s Upward Bound program will continue with new federal funding from a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

This is one of ten such programs across West Virginia that helps income eligible high school students gain the academic skills to prepare for a college education.

“I think the program is important because there is a need for it,” said Cynthia Copney, director of the university’s TRIO programs. “In the state of West Virginia, we provide the community that the high schools are in with an educated workforce. We believe education is the way out of poverty and to get to where we want to be in life.”

TRIO programs are federal student services that help those who are disadvantaged. Upward Bound is one of the oldest of these programs, created as a result of 1965’s Higher Education Act.

The grant ensures funding for the program for the next five years, after the original five-year grant from 2017 recently expired.

Assistant program director Joselin Fuentes says Upward Bound helps first-generation students know what to expect.

“First generation income eligible students, they don’t develop a sense of belonging,” Fuentes said. “But through our program, they get to experience college before even coming to college, as high schoolers.”

This comes after a total of $3.4 million was also awarded to six West Virginia colleges before last month’s Upward Bound funding deadline. This includes a previous $298,000 award to Shepherd University, as well as awards to West Virginia University, Salem University, Marshall University, Concord University, and Davis & Elkins College.

Those interested in learning more can visit the program’s website.