A car wash fundraiser may not seem connected to convincing more students to enroll in college, but there is a correlation through UND’s Upward Bound program.
A federally funded program, Upward Bound assists first-generation and underprivileged high school students on the path to higher education. Phillip Coghlan, the program’s assistant director, said the summer class of Upward Bound students held a car wash last weekend to raise money for the college visits and other trips they take throughout the summer. “It’s just a fun way to get the kids out and involved with the community,” he said. For six weeks, 65 students from the region will live on campus at UND and take classes. Those in ninth through 11th grades will take high school-level courses from local high school teachers in math, science, language arts and a foreign language. The students are mentored and live in dorms with college students, some of whom attend UND, Coghlan said. Students in the Upward Bound Bridge program who have graduated from high school will take nine credits of college courses at UND free of charge. “It will act as a bridge, hence the name, that will help them into college,” Coghlan said. The program is also open in the fall to 88 students. An application process is required through high school guidance counselors to students at Grand Forks Central High School, East Grand Forks High School and seven other schools in the surrounding area, including Grafton, N.D., Devils Lake and New Town, N.D. Students qualify based on income or being a first-generation college student, and Coghlan said UND’s Upward Bound staff visits with students about 25 times throughout every school year. He said they help those in lower grades with academic skill building, SAT and ACT assistance and planning while seniors see help with college applications and scholarships. “It’s about helping students actually overcome the ins and out of applying to a school and how that works,” Coghlan said. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and has an annual budget of $394,416, according to UND’s website. Upward Bound is part of UND TRIO, which has grown from three to five branches of programs to help first-generation, low-income students attend and graduate from college. The summer Upward Bound group will have more carwash fundraisers June 19 and 26 in the parking lot near Hugo’s on 32nd Avenue South.