The United States Department of Education recently approved a $1.1 million grant for a new Upward Bound Math and Science Center at The University of Texas-Pan American.
The new center - which will receive an initial amount of $220,000 for the first year - is designed to serve 50 low-income and/or first-generation high school students for five years from high schools in Donna, Progreso and Weslaco.
"We hope to help the low-income and first-generation college-bound students successfully complete high school, be well-prepared for and familiar with college life and excited about math, science and engineering," said Felipe Salinas, director of special programs for Upward Bound. "Nationwide, there is a shortage of Hispanics in these fields, and UTPA is poised to play a central role in helping to close these gaps."
According to Salinas, the program will incorporate an annual intensive Summer Research Institute that will better prepare participants for studies and careers in math, natural sciences and engineering. Throughout the year, students will also receive continuous instruction in the various fields from the center.
The program will also provide individual and group counseling, career counseling and assessment, cultural and social enrichment activities and the dissemination of educational and financial aid information to students and parents.
"Students will be provided financial aid, college readiness and vocational counseling to assist them in preparing to enter post-secondary education," Salinas said.
Upward Bound is one of seven federally funded programs that make up TRIO (look up thise). The program has been in existence at UTPA since 1972, and has assisted students from low-income families finish high school, enter college and successfully graduate.
For more information about the math and science center, call 956/381-2521.