Upward Bound Public Health Continues with Community Projects

Continuing the Upward Bound program begun this summer with Lorain, Ravenna and Windham local high schools, the college is working with 63 students throughout the school year to encourage higher education and promote the field of public health. 

The main focus is on projects that will culminate during National Public Health Week April 6-12, 2015.  “The goal is to identify a public health need in each community and do something about it,” explains Patty Robinson, assistant director, Upward Bound Public Health.  Throughout the year, the students will come to campus for periodic engagement days to work with volunteers from the college to develop projects responding to the identified needs.  “Projects might involve planting a community garden to provide local food, for example, or sprucing up an abandoned building to deter crime,” Robinson explains.
The college is one of three academic units at the university’s Kent campus selected for involvement in the well-regarded, federally funded Upward Bound program.  During the summer, some 120 students came to Kent for a summer academy or to take post-secondary courses for college credit, staying in dorms Sunday nights through Thursday afternoons June 9-July 11.
Most recently, Upward Bound program participants joined College of Public Health students, faculty and staff on September 13 for the Akron Heart Walk.  The team of 60 walkers raised $7,700 for the American Heart Association.  Upward Bound participants also volunteered that day, helping event sponsors with duties at their exhibit areas, and enjoyed a cultural visit to the Akron Art Museum.
Upward Bound programs seek to increase educational opportunities for first-generation, low-income students and families through comprehensive year-round services in targeted school districts.  The programs also help students overcome class, social, academic and cultural barriers to higher education.  Services include leadership, academic, career, cultural enrichment and social activities, specialized outreach events and tours and opportunities for employment and mentoring.  The programs and services are at no cost to the participant.