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SFU’s Upward Bound accepting applicants

LORETTO — The Saint Francis Upward Bound Program, in its 54th year, is now accepting applications for college-bound teens in Cambria County.

Upward Bound is designed to help students prepare for and pursue a college degree after high school graduation, according to a release by Saint Francis University. The program is cost-free for participants and provides SAT and college application fee waivers.

Anne Heinzeroth, Upward Bound Director, said when she was in high school, she participated in the program.

“I know what an impact it had on my decision to go to college,” she said. “Since I began working with the program over 25 years ago, I’ve seen it dramatically change the trajectory of so many students’ lives.”

Each summer, participants live on the university’s campus for six weeks, attending academic classes. The program also sponsors tutorials, a work-study component, volunteer opportunities and cultural activities during the summer. During the school year, students participate in Saturday follow-ups held on Saint Francis’ campus.

Additional academic year activities include college visits, SAT cram sessions, FAFSA — Free Application for Federal Student Aid — completion nights and college fairs. Upward Bound staff provides students with assistance in completing their college and scholarship applications.

Upward Bound has prepared more than 2,500 qualifying students for the challenges of college, according to the release. Each year, the program provides services to 110 students.

Alyssa Beiswenger is a 2019 alumna of the Saint Francis Upward Bound program. She said it was the “best decision” she’s made for her educational journey.

“They helped me through high school by providing tutors when I needed it and introduced me to my current college,” she said. “Once you join the Upward Bound family, you are always a part of it, even after you graduate.”

“They truly have your best interests in mind.”

Originally founded in 1966, Saint Francis’ Upward Bound Program is one of the oldest Upward Bound programs in the United States and is the oldest continuously funded Upward Bound in Pennsylvania.

The program is now accepting applications from college-bound ninth- and 10th-grade students in public schools throughout Cambria County. To qualify for the program, students must either come from a family with modest income or from a family in which neither parent has a bachelor’s degree.

To learn more about the program or request an application, contact Anne Heinzeroth, Upward Bound Director, at upwardbound@francis.edu or 814-472-3023 or 800-457-6300.

Mirror Staff Writer Dom Cuzzolina is at 946-7428.

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