After a year of connecting virtually, Grand Valley TRIO Upward Bound staff members were excited to welcome students from Grand Rapids Public Schools on campus for five weeks of summer programming.
Josh Brandsen, director of TRIO Upward Bound, said 44 students attended the summer program, offered by Grand Valley for the 43rd consecutive year. The 10th-12th graders from either Innovation Central or Union high schools participated in a hybrid mix of in-person and virtual activities.
To be eligible for Upward Bound, students must meet federal income guidelines and be the first in their families to attend college. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Brandsen said he and other staff members would drop off food and school supplies to students' homes.
"It's really nice to see the students in person," he said. "And they were really excited to get to campus."
In addition to attending meetings and events throughout the year, Grand Valley's Upward Bound students are expected to complete community service projects. Bonnie Peterson, office coordinator, said the pandemic hampered some traditional group volunteer outings but students were still able to complete projects for Kids' Food Basket, Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation and Mel Trotter Ministries.