In 1965, Bowdoin College signed on to participate in a newly minted federal program, part of President Johnson’s War on Poverty. Launched by the Department of Education, Upward Bound was designed to give high school kids from low-income backgrounds a boost in getting into college.
In the half century since, 2,000 students have graduated from Bowdoin’s Upward Bound program. Between 85% and 90% of these alumni have gone on to college. All have come from Maine towns with underfunded schools and high rates of poverty, and most are the first in their family to attend university.
“We’re looking for students with the motivation to go to college and who have hurdles to getting to college that we can help with,” said Bridget Mullen, Bowdoin’s Upward Bound director. “They’re all here because we believe they can go to college and they say they want to go.” Read the full story.