Upward Bound






Upward Bound program is a year-round, federally sponsored, educational program serving high school students from Springfield's High School of Commerce.

Students are eligible to participate if they are from families in which neither parent has a bachelor's degree, and/or if they qualify as low-income. Upward Bound's goal  is to increase the rate at which participants successfully complete high school, and enroll in and graduate from college.

Upward Bound stresses the development of academic skills and motivation for students who might not traditionally be considered college-bound. During the academic year, participants are provided a variety of services ranging from individual tutoring, career advising, SAT and MCAS prep, to college-positive workshops, cultural enrichment and much more. In addition, the program addresses other issues critical to success in high school and college such as time management, self-discipline, responsibility, self-esteem, multicultural knowledge, social justice and respect.

How students benefit  |  Year-round development  |  Expectations  |  Getting involved

How students benefit

As a result of the program's reinforcement and encouragement, it is expected that participants will:

• Strengthen their ability to read, write and communicate.

• Expand their vocabulary and improve their word usage.

• Improve their analytical, reflective and critical thinking skills.

• Expand their world view.

• Take higher-level high school courses in preparation for the rigor of college academics.

• Continue to acquire the skills and qualities which contribute to positive personal growth and development.

• Contribute through community service to build understanding of social justice and supplement their life skills, and develop experience for their college applications.

• Be prepared to make informed and appropriate choices regarding the college or university they will attend.

• Develop a life-long love for learning and the skills needed to accomplish any goal.

Year-round development

Through a partnership with the University of Massachusetts Amherst, a summer institute supports students’ year-round development. The institute takes place over six weeks during June, July and/or August, providing students with the experience of visiting UMass Amherst, taking courses, and enjoying fun, educational activities during the day. The institute includes the potential for a residential component, where students may stay overnight on the UMass campus.


Once a student is accepted, they are expected to remain with the program, fulfilling all participation requirements, until successful graduation from high school. Upward Bound scholars will be expected to be focused on taking every possible step towards attending college. Requirements may include, but are not limited to:

• Full attendance in school.

• Attendance at academic counseling sessions.

• Attendance at tutoring activities.

• Participation in college preparatory activities.

• Attendance at periodic Saturday sessions.

• Positive academic progress.

Upward Bound scholars are required to actively participate in all scheduled activities, including after-school tutoring and college preparation workshops offered throughout the year, as well as the six-week summer institute. The goal is to support every participant in achieving their highest academic potential in each year of high school, and to establish healthy habits which will help sustain that success throughout college. Every activity is designed to develop and nurture these skills and habits.

Getting involved

Additional information and applications will be available through the High School of Commerce's guidance office, or by visiting Upward Bound after-school sessions. Students may refer themselves or be referred to the program by guidance counselors, teachers, community agency representatives or friends. To join or for more information, contact:

Bridget Hynes