BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A new report says getting into college is harder for low-income students even when they have good grades. But Upward Bound, a program through Buffalo State University, is helping Buffalo’s brightest get on the right track.
Mohammed El-Amin a student at Buffalo State said, “I feel like if it wasn’t for me being in upward bound, I don’t know where I would’ve been, but I know it wouldn’t be good.”
Terrell Johnson a student at Buffalo State said, “It showed me what college would actually be like with all of the studying and the homework and the classes and stuff so when I came to college it was actually kind of easier.”
Both of these current buff state students grew up in buffalo, and participated in Upward Bound.
The federally- funded program helps high school students from low-income families get into college.
The ninety students accepted into the program will spend six weeks of their summer on campus taking classes and learning what it takes to be a full time college student.
Don Paterson, The Director of Upward Bound said, “Right here in Buffalo, in 2016 you have poverty, you have lack of access and that’s what a program like this does; it gives those who typically wouldn’t have access, access to those avenues that are going to get you into higher education.”
A new report from the Jack Kent Foundations says families in the bottom socioeconomic status make up just 3% of the student body at the nation’s top colleges. But students say this program puts them ahead of their high school class.
El-Amin said, “The homework, the study habits they made us develop. And interacting with people and making connections through people. It really helped out a lot more than I thought.”
Both students tell us besides upward bound, it was their parents who made education a priority and put them on the right path.
If you’d like more information on the Upward Bound program, you can head to their website.