CASTLETON–Castleton University hosted more than 450 high school students involved in Upward Bound programs from across Vermont, New York and New Hampshire as part of the Upward Bound Jamboree on July 14 in the Castleton Fine Arts Center.
The jamboree event was designed to celebrate TRiO programs within the community and featured a dance, group tours, dinner and alumni panels. Guest speaker Castleton President Dave Wolk kicked off the event with a formal welcome. Local legislators were also in attendance, including Vermont senators Brian Collamore, Peg Flory and Kevin Mullin, and Vermont representatives Robert Helm, Peter Fagan and Lawrence Cupoli.
The theme for the day was “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité” in honor of Bastille Day, and the event included a variety of French-inspired foods and activities.
Upward Bound is a federally funded TRiO program at Castleton that offers challenging pre-college experiences to students of high academic ability who are the first in their families to pursue a college education or have a modest family income. Students come from Fair Haven Union High School, Mill River Union High School, Poultney High School, Rutland High School and West Rutland High School. The goal of the program is to generate the skills and motivation necessary for success in high school and college through a six-week semester residential program and an academic year component.
Castleton Upward Bound, established in 2003, has served more than 200 local high school students. Since its inception, 75 percent of Castleton Upward Bound students have enrolled in college immediately following high school graduation, compared to just 35 percent of low-income Vermont high school graduates.