Lake Worth, Fla. – U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel has announced $3 million in grant funding awarded to Palm Beach State College by the U.S. Department of Education to expand the Upward Bound TRIO college readiness program.

A portion of the funds will enable PBSC to launch an Upward Bound TRIO program in the Glades to serve Pahokee and Glades Central high schools. This will mark the first Upward Bound TRIO program for high school students in those western communities.

“Although we know that not everyone has to go to college to be successful in life, we know from experience that there are benefits to earning a college degree,” Frankel said to high school students, administrators, parents and PBSC officials on hand for the announcement.

She referenced a Georgetown University study that reports college graduates earn $1 million dollars more over the lifetime of their careers.

“This Upward Bound program gives young people a real opportunity to reach their full potential, so I’m very pleased to have Palm Beach State not only continue their program but add to their program with this $3 million over five years,” Frankel said.

“What’s special to us about having this TRIO grant is that we can serve more students,’’ said PBSC President Ava L. Parker, J.D. “We can expand our services out to the Glades. If we just help a few, it’s great, but it’s so much better when we can help more students.”

Upward Bound is one of the eight U.S. Department of Education-funded TRIO programs, including seven designed to help individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds get on the path to higher education and finish. They are collectively known as TRIO.

Upward Bound participants receive tutoring and academic and career counseling, and they participate in social, cultural and educational activities, including field trips and college tours.

Students enter the program in the 9th or 10th grade and continue until high school graduation. Upward Bound staff is charged with tracking the success of students for six years after high school graduation.

Syla Alcin, Upward Bound program director, said in the 2020-2021 year, 100% of the seniors served achieved proficient level on state assessments in reading/language arts and math.

More than 90% of participants continued in school for the next academic year or graduated with a high school diploma, and 52% enrolled in a program of postsecondary education attained an associate or bachelor’s degree within six years following high school graduation.

“Those are great achievements that could not happen if we did not have the support of those programs and the community,” Alcin said.