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These kids are Upward Bound

School Committee hears of program's success

December 15, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — Thanks to the Upward Bound Program, Ronald James says he is closer to his goal of a career in the criminal justice field.

Advisors and students with the program met with School Committee members to report on its development during the Tuesday, Dec. 14 meeting. Upward Bound is a federally-funded program helping high school students from low-income families or students who will be the first in their family to go to college.

James, a Southbridge High School junior has been involved with the program for three years.

"I go there weekly to help improve my study skills," James told the committee. "Currently, I'm getting As and Bs. I'm doing what I need to do to improve my skills to do better things after high school. I plan on double-majoring in criminal justice and education.

"We have great support in the community and from the staff of the high school," said Eric Batista, Upward Bound site coordinator. "This is the fourth year of the program and it's a very important year because in the spring, we will be reapplying for grants for the next four to five years. We've had great success in Southbridge."

Last year, the original group of Upward Bound students graduated. The group's success rate is impressive, as 90 percent of their students end up attending four-year colleges in the local area.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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