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Bruce Wells Scholars Upward Bound Program

YOU, Inc.

YOU, Inc.’s Bruce Wells Scholars Upward Bound program is a five-year leadership and college access program for promising low-income, first-generation college-bound Worcester high school students. The program’s comprehensive supports ensure that these students’ life circumstances don’t prevent them from reaching their full academic and career potential. Upward Bound students are supported through four years of high school and the first year of college.  

Overview of Services

The Upward Bound program offers a wide array of services and supports:

  • Extensive academic services, including assistance with high school course selection; advisory meetings; general academic tutoring; implementation of Individualized Education Plans (IEPs); writing seminars, study skills workshops and organized study groups; MCAS and SAT preparation sessions; and one-to-one tutoring with program staff and/or community volunteers.
  • Comprehensive skill building and enrichment activities including team-building, Adventure-Based Learning (ABL), goal setting, and broadening of academic and career horizons.
  • Leadership development and current affairs workshops and opportunities.
  • Career exploration including individual interest inventories; exploration of the courses of study and licensing or credentialing processes necessary to prepare for various occupations; exposure to careers via guest speakers, field trips, and career exploration software and materials available through the Clark University College placement center and partner high school guidance offices; internships and summer work experiences.
  • Post-secondary Information/Aid/Admissions including assisting students with the complete admissions process, financial aid processes, campus tours; collaboration with high school guidance counselors; and advocacy with admissions and financial aid offices.
  • Parental/Family Involvement which includes dissemination of information regarding post-secondary options as well as financial aid and admissions assistance; guidance on high school course selections and college planning; workshops and training around the importance of parent involvement in academic success; ongoing family activities including holiday celebrations, graduation ceremonies, awards banquets organized by parents, and summer barbecues.
  • Life Skills education throughout the academic year and summer component, including preparation for daily living in a post-secondary environment; budgeting and money management;organizational and time management skills training; living in a dormitory environment; maintaining a healthy lifestyle and managing conflict and anger.
  • College Visits during the academic year and summer component are an essential component of the program. For most of our students, these college trips would be well outside of the family’s budget and resources – yet they are vital to finding the right college match for each student.
  • Work Study/Internship/Employment. Our students gain real work experiences through internship site placements, where they receive training and guidance around professional expectations and behavior. Upward Bound students complete a week-long internship at the close of the Summer Component, and many participate in more time-limited internships throughout the year.
  • Summer Component. The Summer Component is designed to build on the foundation of the Academic Year program, but just as importantly to give participants the opportunity to better understand the "university experience." Students learn first-hand what it means to live and study on a college campus; participants stay in a residential dormitory at Clark University for five weeks each summer, from Monday morning to Friday afternoon. Our students attend classes on campus, and have access to the colleges’ libraries, recreation facilities, laboratories, cafeteria, and other facilities.

Eligibility and Referral     

Students must attend one of these five Worcester public high schools:

  • Burncoat High School
  • South High School
  • North High School
  • Claremont Academy
  • Doherty High School

Students identified by guidance counselors, administrators and teachers as having strong college potential are required to complete an Upward Bound application. Accepted students must be either low income, first-generation to attend college, or both.

To learn more or to inquire about an application, please contact:

Gaelyn Hastings
Director, College Access Programs
27 Sever Street
Worcester, MA 01609
Phone: 508.552.7577
hastingsg@youinc.org

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