AT&T donation helps Upward Bound students pursue a college education

contact: Deanne Puca
| WMU News
Photo of Upward Bound students, local and state representatives and officals from AT&T standing together holding an oversized check for $10,000.

AT&T donated $10,000 to the Upward Bound program.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University's Upward Bound program received a $10,000 boost from global communications provider AT&T to support tutoring efforts and help pay transportation costs for students making visits to prospective colleges.

Ruth Gaudard, AT&T regional director of external affairs, joined Dr. Erika Carr, WMU's director of Precollege Programming; State Rep. Jon Hoadley; State Sen. Margaret O’Brien; other University officials and Upward Bound students to present the contribution on campus Aug. 1.

"I'd like to thank AT&T for generously supporting the efforts of Upward Bound," Carr said. "As a first-generation college student myself, I know how important programs like Upward Bound are in allowing students to see all postsecondary options available to them. With this contribution from AT&T, Upward Bound can continue to open up even more access to higher education by providing additional tutoring support to program participants."

Upward Bound works with three high schools in the Kalamazoo Public Schools district and four high schools from Van Buren Intermediate School District. Both area school districts have higher rates of students who are eligible for free and reduced lunch as compared to the state average.

"To be successful in today’s world, people need to go on and complete some sort of postsecondary education, and that’s exactly what the Upward Bound program is trying to ensure for these young students," Hoadley added. "Giving these students the leg up they need now makes such a huge difference once it’s time to actually enroll in college, and I’m so happy to see AT&T support and recognize the good work being done here."

"AT&T is fully committed to the mission of the Upward Bound program," said David Lewis, president of AT&T Michigan. "Providing these young at-risk students with the support they need to go on and reach their full potential academically is a noble undertaking, and AT&T is proud to help in that effort."

About Upward Bound

Upward Bound is an extensive, multi-year program providing academic and mentoring support to area low-income and potential first-generation college students. Its goal is to provide the support students need to complete high school and go on to graduate from college.

Students enrolled in Upward Bound receive academic and mentoring support throughout the course of the school year in the form of tutoring, ACT/SAT preparation, financial literacy workshops and exposure to various cultural events and academic programs. In addition to support throughout the academic year, Upward Bound students also attend a six-week summer program on WMU's campus designed to simulate the college learning environment and expose participants to what college life is like before enrolling on a prospective campus. Mathematics, science, literature, composition and foreign language are all part of the summer curriculum.

About AT&T

AT&T Inc. is the world's largest provider of pay TV, serving customers in the United States and 11 Latin American countries. It is a leading provider of entertainment, mobile, high speed Internet and voice services, as well as businesses solutions.

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