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High school students live on campus to prepare for college

by Crysta McGee, intern, communications and marketing last modified Jul 03, 2013 09:52 AM

The thought of college can be daunting to high school students but UofL partnerships with Jefferson County Schools are helping to make college a little less intimidating for kids from low-income families and those who may be the first in their families to attend college.

Upward Bound and Gaining Options for College (GO College) are year-round programs that each summer bring participants to campus—not just to take classes, but also to get used to what it feels like to be in the campus environment. This summer more than 160 high school students have called Belknap Campus home for two or more weeks.

Upward Bound is one of the longest partnerships that UofL has. The university and the program paired up 47 years ago. Tutors work with the students to help them graduate from high school on time and to motivate them not only to go to college but also to graduate. Each summer, the students live on campus for five weeks and take such classes as math, science, Spanish and even ACT prep.

Program participants also have the opportunity to visit colleges throughout the United States, said UofL Upward Bound Director Mary Thorpe. Upward Bound program participants will be on campus through July 12.

UofL has partnered with GO College since it started three years ago. During the school year, UofL employees work as college coaches with students at Moore, Shawnee and Fern Creek High Schools. In the summer, rising high school freshmen come to campus for a two-week residential program. While on campus, they take classes to enrich their education. UofL students serve as mentors to help them with their questions about college. The program had 46 participants on campus this year.

“GO College is important because it allows the students to create a bridge from middle to high school,” said mentor Naomi Sells. “It lets them meet other students and exposes them to a college campus, which many of the students have never been exposed to before.”

UofL isn’t the only college campus they’ll visit. At the end of their stay, they traveled to Atlanta to visit colleges but they also worked in a little education and fun. While there, they saw such museums as the CNN Center and The World of Coca-Cola and ended their trip at Six Flags over Georgia.

UofL’s Office of Community Engagement administers Upward Bound and GO College through the Signature Partnership, a university effort to enhance the quality of life and economic opportunity for West Louisville residents. The programs are federally funded.

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