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8th Grade Success Program

Upward Bound is a federally funded program through the U.S. Department of Education that is committed to providing modest-income, first generation, college-bound students the academic background, college preparatory experiences, and support needed to succeed in high school and college. The program traditionally works with seventy-five area high school students from the Northeast Kingdom who are required to meet one of the two following criteria: they will be the first generation in their family to graduate from college, or they are from a low to moderate income family. Two thirds of the students must meet both of these requirements. 8th grade students also have to be 13 years old or more. This is a free educational opportunity program, provided at no cost to participating families in the Kingdom East School District.

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The goal of Upward Bound’s 8th Grade Bridge Program is to ensure that these scholars have access to the support and guidance necessary to their success – in middle school, high school, college, and beyond!

Upward Bound staff will work with students and provide support to all participating students throughout the school year. Additionally, students in the program participate will be invited to participate in a week long summer program, staying on the campus of Northern Vermont University – Lyndon. For Bridge Program students, the summer session will serve as an introduction to what being a High School student in Upward Bound is like. During the summer program, students will:

  • Receive instruction in high school, college preparatory course work, specifically STEM and English based classes.

  • Learn about standardized test taking strategies that will better prepare them to take the PSAT and SAT. 

  • Receive guidance and counseling with regard to educational and career opportunities.

  • Participate in enrichment programs, the purpose of which is to develop creative thinking, effective expression, and positive attitudes towards learning.

  • Social and Cultural experiences, like a structured Outdoor Adventure program, which aim to help students develop crucial interpersonal skills.

Advantages of UB:

During the summer program, students have four hours of preparatory course work during the mornings to prepare them for their high school classes. During the afternoons, all students will have a career and college explorations class, and will spend evenings engaged in a variety of activities designed to expand their educational opportunities and promote cultural and social growth. Each student receives a non-taxable $600.00 stipend each summer. Additionally, each student is awarded a new Chromebook to use for the duration of the program.


Other important factors to consider:

  • 99% of all Upward Bound students attend college immediately after high school

  • 75% will graduate from college in 4 years

  • 80% of all Upward Bound students graduate with significantly less college loan debt than the national average

Why Start Now?

Awareness of higher education needs to begin even before a child reaches high school. The sooner students and their families know about all their educational opportunities, the sooner they begin to prepare for them and the more confident the students become. That preparation begins as students develop study habits, assess their abilities and plan for their future. UB helps students to see that what they do now is very important to their future goals.

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