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Office of Communications and Marketing

Press Release

2007 Upward Bound Grant Announcement

June 14, 2007

[Columbia, S.C.] During a time when several local colleges and universities have lost funding, Benedict College has been awarded a $435,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education in support of the institution's Upward Bound program.

In existence for more than 30 years, Benedict's Upward Bound is a pre-college program designed to foster skills necessary for success beyond high school. The project is geared toward students who come from economically disadvantaged families and whose parents have not earned a college degree.

Benedict's program has survived and thrived for more than three decades because of its talented and dedicated staff and parents who stay involved, said Dr. Jabari Simama, Vice-President for Community Development at Benedict. "The parents within the program have been passionate and engaged with the U.S. Congress to ensure that our elected officials value the benefit of this important educational program," Dr. Simama further commented.

The program is year-round and consists of three components: academics, the summer residential and bridge programs. In the academic component, students attend Saturday sessions on campus. During the year, students receive individualized instruction in science, mathematics, English, and foreign languages. Students also engage in career, financial aid, academic and personal counseling; tutorials; and a variety of enrichment activities to include college tours, seminars, and recreational activities.

The summer residential component allows participants to experience college life. All participants live in the dormitory, eat in the campus dining facilities, and attend regular classes. Adult dormitory supervisors are hired during the summer months to counsel and supervise participants.

When students reach the bridge phase of the program, they are allowed to take college courses and earn college credit during the summer before they enter college. The bridge component provides a venue for students to transition from high school to college and to get ahead on their journey through college.

"We see educational enrichment from the perspective of community development. That is, we see educational enrichment as part of an overall strategy of capacity building for the larger transformation of communities," Dr. Simama said.

Media Contacts:
Kymm Hunter, Director of Public Relations
803-705-4519 or hunterk@benedict.edu
Natalie Brown, Assistant Director of Public Relations
803-705-4366 or brownn@benedict.edu

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