Want to get ahead in the college admissions process? Join Upward Bound today!


The lack of knowledge surrounding college and all the factors that go into reaching a higher education is extremely common amongst high school students. However, what if there’s an easier way students could become well informed on a variety of topics surrounding college as well as learning ways in which they can become successful in future career paths? 

Well, there simply is. Upward Bound is a program dedicated to helping students become stronger college applicants in addition to teaching them how to become prosperous in any career path of their choice. Fernando Marquez, the project coordinator for North Hollywood’s Upward Bound, describes what the program entails and how underclassmen can apply. 

“In short terms, the Upward Bound program helps motivated young people to pursue higher education, grow as individuals, and become agents of change.” Mr. Marquez states. The program provides students with all types of resources to help expand their knowledge of tertiary education. “We help students become college and career-ready. We will do anything that will help you achieve these goals,” he adds. 

One of the main resources provided is career exploration. Upward Bound has invited professional speakers from all different career fields to speak to aspiring underclassmen. “We’ve had animators, vet students, nurses, urban planners come speak to our students” Mr. Marquez adds. 

Upward Bound also assists in academic improvement. The program hires their own tutors that help students on a variety of subjects. “Overall we provide guidance and support when preparing for college,” he explains. 

Another activity students seem to greatly engage with while being in Upward Bound is field trips. The program provides free field trips to universities all across Southern California. They are completely free as transportation and other essentials are covered by the program. 

Workshops are a big way the program connects with their students and help teach them more about all aspects of college and career readiness. “We cover any topics that will lead to your success,” he states. 

Mr. Marquez also acknowledges a very important part  that Upward Bound centers around, “Applying to college can be challenging, especially if none of your family members have even gone through the process.” This dedicated program hugely helps those who are first-generation students in their families. 

They understand how tough it can be for those whose family members have never attended college and are not familiar with the process. They assist these students and their families by providing workshops on financial aid, money management, and other crucial aspects of college. 

Upward Bound’s activities are not solely informational but can also be very fun and explorational. Students learn about different career paths with hands-on experiences. Such as conducting live problem-solving simulations. 

“Our students got to play with a computer software program where they interacted and worked with 5 or 6 other students to help solve conflicts regarding the reopening of certain places during COVID-19…” Mr. Marques explains “they had to take on roles such as being governors states, public health directors, businesswomen, and men…” he eludes. 

On a separate occasion, students were sent home a science kit where they were able to make a small model of a human heart. “In low-income communities, there are very few opportunities to learn about different careers but Upward Bound helps provide those experiences.” Mr. Marquez explains. 

Although there is this common misconception that college is something only Juniors or Seniors should be preoccupied with, Mr. Marquez debunks this idea by explaining that the process starts much earlier. 

“Preparing for college starts in 9th grade, it’s almost like preparing for a marathon, you can’t do it overnight.” Mr. Marquez states. He explains that there are so many college and career paths out there, that it is way more beneficial to start researching them earlier on. “The less pressure going into Senior year, the better,” he adds. 

Mr. Marquez now invites any current freshman or sophomore to join the program. He explains that the application process is similar to college ones. “You will need to complete a general application, have two teacher recommendations, and finally an essay,” he states. 

He reassures students to not feel overwhelmed by the application process as the potential outcome will be worth it. Mr. Marquez encourages underclassmen to join not only for the amazing benefits but also to be a part of a community. “No matter what kind of person you are, you will find someone like you in Upward Bound. Whether you are more outgoing or a bit more introverted, you will find someone who you can connect and form bonds with.” 

You can apply today by visiting https://tinyurl.com/ubnhinterest.