FARMINGTON – The University of Maine at Farmington is excited to report that the TRIO federal funding grant for its two Upward Bound programs has been renewed for the next five years.

UMF will receive $3,591,775 as part of the more than $16 million in grant funds that will support students who are from low-income economic backgrounds and families in which neither parent has a bachelor’s degree.

The grant was recently announced by the office of U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, the co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional TRIO Caucus. According to Senator Collins’ release, TRIO programs like Upward Bound help to ensure that underserved students have equal access to a college education and the support they need to prepare for, succeed in, and graduate from higher education. Upward Bound is proven to increase the rate at which participants complete high school as well as enroll in and graduate from postsecondary institutions.

“We are grateful to U.S> Sen. Collins and the entire Maine Congressional Delegation for their support of Upward Bound and equal educational opportunity. Our students need comprehensive, targeted services now more than ever and we are fortunate to come from a state filled with remarkable TRIO programs and TRIO professionals. Upward Bound students work so hard to navigate the landscape of higher education. It is a privilege to participate in even a small part of their journey to college and beyond,” said Lynn Ploof-Davis, UMF director of TRIO Programs.”

Upward Bound provides high school students with opportunities to prepare for and succeed in their preparation for college entrance and higher education pursuits. Programs provide academic instruction, tutoring, counseling, mentoring, cultural enrichment, work-study programs, education or counseling services designed to improve the financial and economic literacy of students.

Katie Jansky, a UMF graduate, participated in the Farmington Upward Bound program as a high school student at Mt. Abram High School. She now works as an activities coordinator and student adviser for the Farmington Upward Bound program.

“For me as a high school student, Upward Bound was all about opportunity. It gave me the chance to try new things, be more academically prepared and have the support of people who believed in me. Now, I’m in a position to help current college students just like me chase their dreams and be successful,” said Jansky.

TRIO Programs are federal outreach and student services programs in the United States designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. They are administered, funded, and implemented by the United States Department of Education.

In the past 42 years over 1,215 students from UMF’s program have received the critical services needed to reach their goal of higher education. Foothills Upward Bound and River Valley Upward Bound, funded in 1980 and 2012 respectively, provide services to 139 students in 14 target high schools throughout Western Maine.

Nationally, there are more than 3,100 TRIO programs serving more than 800,000 students. In Maine, 30 TRIO programs serve almost 7,600 students all over the state, including programs at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, the University of Southern Maine and the University of Maine.

A nationally-recognized liberal arts college known for its commitment to student success, UMF provides a challenging yet supportive environment to prepare students for both careers and further study. Rooted in a tradition of teacher preparation, UMF offers top quality programs in the arts and sciences, teacher preparation, and pre-professional studies. Located in the heart of Maine’s four-season outdoor recreational region, UMF is a welcoming, close-knit academic community that prepares students for engaged citizenship, enriching professional careers and an enduring love of learning.