The return of USF’s Upward Bound program is a welcome sight for high school students in Florida. The program reaches out to high school students from low-income families and helps them prepare for higher education. Ed.gov states that Upward Bound affects students whose parents have not earned a degree and veterans who will be the first in their families to enter college.

USF’s Upward Bound program was the largest in Florida and was one of the largest in the nation before losing its funding in June. The federally funded program – which has 566 programs nationwide according to usf.edu – is back in business after receiving a $3.5 million federal grant.

Upward Bound plays a critical role for students who do not have the support system at home to make the step into higher education. Children are not afforded the opportunity to choose to whom or into what environment they are born, and programs such as this ensure that they are given the necessary tools to succeed. USF should do its part to ensure the program recovers from its dormant period quickly and makes up any lost ground. It profits the students, but it also profits the institution by expanding the classes and people who can attend. This, in turn, makes the educational experience more effective.

Marcus Glover, who works as a counselor for Student Support Services at USF, understands the importance of the program. “The program really uplifts students because, for a lot of them, there is no support at home. This program deserves attention,” Glover said.

Upward Bound embodies the American dream by helping those who need assistance so they can become successful, and the product delivered by USF’s program has been exceptional. It’s a program that USF, and its students, can be proud to be associated with.