Upward Bound Math & Science will expand college access for high school students.
A continuation of the university's commitment to the Upward Bound program, this is the second Upward Bound grant Texas Tech received this year. The grant will focus on serving 60 high school students each year in the Lubbock Independent School District (LISD).
“We are elated to expand and re-establish Upward Bound Math & Science,” said Carol A. Sumner, chief diversity officer and vice president of the Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. “When I arrived at Texas Tech four years ago it was important to plan to compete in the next grant cycle, given our long history with Upward Bound Math & Science. We made the commitment to reapply and to share the unique possibility of careers based in math and the sciences, especially in agricultural sciences and veterinary medicine.”
One of the seven federally funded TRIO programs, Upward Bound Math & Science supports high school students from families in which neither parent or guardian holds a bachelor's degree, also known as first-generation students; and helps high school students from low-income backgrounds succeed academically and ultimately graduate from college.
“Being able to expand our service to our local community's high school students and their families, especially strengthening skills in math and science, is critical for the future of our community and generations to come,” said Jade Silva Tovar, assistant vice president of the Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. “I am overjoyed for Texas Tech Upward Bound Math & Science to provide academic skill development, college preparation and career exploration to Lubbock youth as they realize their future aspirations while connecting with our Upward Bound alumni.”
According to 2019 U.S. Census Bureau statistics, 17% of families live at or below 150% of the poverty level in the U.S. In the Lubbock area, 27% of families live at or below this level. For these families, it can be difficult to help their child not only navigate graduating from high school and consider college, but also trying to meet everyday living expenses.
“In an area with many science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, academic skill development is essential for success to prepare for these future career aspirations,” Silva Tovar said. “Our future doctors, veterinarians, agricultural scientists, engineers and problem solvers are right here in Lubbock, and we look forward to helping them reach their goals.”
The purpose of Upward Bound Math & Science is to give young adults more options for their future. The program does this through tutoring, academic skill development, counseling, mentoring, cultural enrichment, college exploration and career counseling services. There also is special focus on instruction in mathematics, laboratory sciences, composition, literature and foreign languages. The program will start recruiting program participants before the new year.