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Petitioning Save our Upward Bound Programs

Help Us Get Funding Again.

Upward Bound saves children. It lets them break the cycle. College and success are viewed by many low income and first generation students as a fairy tale. This program shows them that it is a reality. It shows them a light by giving them motivation, hope, drive, and confidence. With this they can earn college degrees and escape the unfortunate circumstances they came from. It provides a family for those who lack it home. It provides a harness for those with no support. Me and my upward bound family lost funding and we are devastated. Without this program, many of us wouldn't be on the right track and with it's cancellation, our members might fall off, not to mention the would be incoming students who will never receive aid. Budget cuts are necessary in the current economy, but killing the dreams of our nation's posterity is not the way to go. By hurting them, you hurt the country itself. Please, help me and my fellow UB peers get our programs back. We miss it, and we need it. It has changed us, and these kids deserve it.

Last year, US Congress and the Obama Administration included cuts in Upward Bound funding with the budget cuts they had planned. As far as reasoning, money is the only thing I can deduce, as it is an outstandingly successful program in getting at risk kids in and out of post-secondary institutions with college degrees, so much so that I'd be surprised is this isn't seen as a universal blow education in the US. For example, according to the Pell Institute, roughly 30 percent of kids from the Upward Bound demographic enroll in college, while more than 90 percent of Upward Bound kids do. The question as to whether or not Upward Bound works doesn't exist. The fact that it does has been proved time and time again. Not to mention several people in Upward Bound administration lost their jobs, like our adviser at RSU's Upward Bound program, Robert Mackey, a man that loved and put everything he had into is job and has determinedly stuck it out with us though the very end, when he could have been looking for different, higher paying work opportunities. 

I know the chance of getting funding back before the next grant opening is slim (and it is not for another five years), and that it probably won't come back soon enough for me to participate again, but for the incoming students I feel it's my duty to try to bring awareness, so that when that date five years from now rolls around, no more deserving programs will be cut and hopefully many past successful programs will be reinstated. If that doesn't work out, I think that maybe if these unfortunate UB kids can band together, we can be seen and make a big enough splash to attract the attention of private donations. We're not asking for money to fuel it to the degree it was before. We just need enough to keep it alive. Mine and other UB families are desperate to stay together and to grow to include others, and we will accept help from almost anywhere. However, we mainly hope that the federal government will be able to open their eyes and see straight a few years from now, realize their mistake, and bring the program back in full force.

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