Upward Bound TRIO Grant Application Submitted

Published: April 05, 2022 | Author: Lawrence Mbaki | Read Time: 3 minutes

TRIO StudentsDirector Leanne Maxwell of Southern Utah University’s Upward Bound (UB) program recently submitted another application for grant funding with the US Department of Education’s Federal TRIO Programs Office. This highly competitive opportunity provides nearly $500,000 in funding to support first-generation students (those whose parents do not hold a bachelor’s degree) and/or low-income high school students in their pursuit of higher education. This submission marks Maxwell’s seventh round of writing for the TRIO UB grant—and she’s written three other TRIO program grants during her time here at SUU. Since each successful application covers five years of Upward Bound programming, it is remarkable to reflect on the impact of her efforts.

Maxwell says the TRIO UB program holds a special place in her heart, where she has been the director for the past 27 years, since 1995. She recalls, “I was actually a low-income, first-generation student, raised in the small southern Utah town of Glendale. I learned early from my parents that education is very important. So, after I graduated from Valley High School, I was one of the few girls in my class who went on to graduate college.”

Maxwell received her BA in Family and Consumer Science at Southern Utah State College (now Southern Utah University). She moved away from Cedar City for many years but returned in 1992 and immediately began taking classes to obtain her teacher certification in Home Economics. She continued to complete a Master's in Education, graduating in May of 2000. She further explains “I enjoy working with high school students because I believe that gaining an education is one of the most important things a person can do with their life.”

Some of the opportunities provided to SUU Upward Bound program participants include: college tours with selection, admission, and financial aid information; tutoring services; ACT prep courses and ACT fee waivers; newsletter with academic and career counseling; great mentors and friends; summer programming; and free college credit. If secured, this year’s grant will serve 103 students located at six high schools in southern Utah and two high schools in northern Arizona on the Navajo Indian Reservation.

SUU Upward Bound was established in 1968, just four years after the first pilot program in the US rolled out in 1964. With over 50 years of running this program through grant funding at SUU, the competition has only become more intense with every writing cycle. Maxwell confides, “We are under a great deal of pressure as we don't want to lose a program that's been so successful and has helped so many students in its 54 years of existence at SUU!”

Despite the pressures that come with continued grant funding, Maxwell is optimistic about the future of Upward Bound. She encourages future grant seekers to start early and “take advantage of the wonderful talent in the SPARC office!” She is grateful to the SPARC office and former SPARC director Bill O’Neil for their grant expertise, who helped make this year’s submission possible.

For more information on SUU’s Upward Bound program, visit suu.edu/trioub/.

Produced by the SPARC Office

SUU's SPARC Office provides assistance to faculty, staff, and administrators seeking external funding for their projects and programs, from concept development and planning through implementation and management of funded projects.


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