Mallory Jones, 21, of Hyde Park, Vermont, was the first person in her family to attend college. She credits Upward Bound with playing a crucial role in getting her there. This year, Mallory will be a senior at Saint Michael’s College. “I was shown how to write a college essay and do different drafts of it, how to actually apply, and then, aside from that, learning about scholarships and the financial aid process,” she said, adding, “I wouldn’t have known any of that if it wasn’t for Upward Bound teaching me all those skills.”
Mallory was one of roughly 500 Vermont high school students, mostly from low-income families that have never sent a child to college, to gather at Lyndon State Collegein Lyndon, Vermont, July 9 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Upward Bound. Upward Bound, which is one of the U.S. Education Department’s eight TRIO programs, guides low-income families and first-generation college students through the complex process of seeking financial assistance and applying to college.
“I hope that all of you understand that just because you come from families that don’t have a lot of money, I hope you understand that doesn’t mean you’re not as smart as anybody else in your class,” Sen. Bernie Sanders said in a video welcome to the students. “And I hope you also understand that if you study hard, if you work hard, if you really drive yourself, there is nothing that you cannot accomplish.”