Asha Clark and 30 other seniors from Jefferson County Public high schools stood proudly at the annual Upward Bound Academic Banquet as their names were called and their scholarship awards were recognized. Collectively, the group received more than $1.7 million dollars in scholarships and other aid from various colleges and universities. Clark was one of seven students who received more than $100,000.
“Upward Bound has been an irreplaceable experience,” said Clark, a senior at Ballard High School and the mistress of ceremony at the banquet. “Without it I would have been completely lost in the college application process. It isn’t just academics that Upward Bound has helped me with, it’s the lifelong bonds that I’ve formed as well. I think without Upward Bound the course of my life would be completely different, and not for the better.”
Upward Bound, a federally funded program that has existed on the University
of Louisville’s Belknap Campus for more than 50 years, serves high school students from low-income and first-generation families. The goal of the Upward Bound Program is to increase the rate at which its participants enroll in and graduate from institutions of post-secondary education.
The banquet was held at the Brown & Williamson Clubhouse and celebrated the seniors that participated in the program and recognized more than 90 of the participating 165 students in the program who attained a 3.0 GPA or higher.
“The University of Louisville exists for one primary purpose and that is to educate our students and produce a citizenry that’s prepared to go forth and take their rightful place in this society,” Ralph Fitzpatrick, vice president for community engagement, said during the ceremony. “I’m proud as a vice president at the University of Louisville to go back to my institution tomorrow and report that all is well.”
Dwayne Compton, associate dean for community engagement and diversity and the chief diversity officer for UofL’s School of Medicine, was the guest speaker for the evening.
“I oftentimes see students and see myself when I was sitting in your seats,” Compton said. “Do self-reflection, think about what it is that you want out of life and establish your own partnership of success.”
More information about the UofL’s Upward Bound program is available online.