Sault Ste. Marie College Prep Program Concerned About Funding
"Without Upward Bound, I know that I wouldn’t be where I am at today," Sault Ste. Marie Tribal Chippewa Indians chairperson Aaron Payment said.
Coordinators of a decades long federally-funded college prep program are wondering if they’ll get the necessary funds this year.
Upward Bound began at Lake Superior State University in the 60s, providing low-income and first generation high school students a college prep program to succeed.
The U.S. Department of Education typically gives the program $400,000 to operate every year.
Now, just a few weeks away from when the program is supposed to start, they still haven’t received the funds.
Aaron Payment, a former participant, says the lessons learned from the program were invaluable.
"Upward Bound made all the difference in the world to me. I’m a high school dropout, but then Upward Bound helped me get into college and succeed in college and I’m about to finish my doctorate in education leadership," Payment said.
The program director is urging people to contact their senators and members of congress to secure the funding to keep the program running.