Warriors in the Community is a radio segment that features short, insightful interviews with key figures from Wayne State University about the many ways in which the university and its programs make a positive impact on the metro area and on the lives of Detroiters.
Associate professor Sandra M. Gonzales, Ed.D., joins us for our eighth episode to discuss the College of Education’s venerated Upward Bound Program, a federally funded initiative hosted by Wayne State University that provides instruction, tutoring, academic and career guidance, counseling and residential life to high school students recruited in the 9th, 10th and 11th grades. These students are potential first-generation, college-bound students who attend designated Detroit Community District Public Schools. Upward Bound targets students who would like to go to college but may have difficulty attending due to academic need, lack of financial aid or inadequate high school preparation.
Intro: This is “Warriors in the Community” brought to you by Wayne State University, and now to learn about how Wayne State is positively impacting our community, here is Darrell Dawsey.
Darrell Dawsey: Today I'm with Sandra Gonzales, associate professor of Bilingual Bicultural Education and faculty director of the College of Education's Upward Bound Program at Wayne State University.
Tell us a little bit about how the College of Education's Upward Bound program works, and tell us about the main components of that program.
Sandra Gonzales: Our Wayne State Program actually hosts two Upward Bound programs. So, there's one in the College of Education, and then we also have a Office of Federal TRIO Programs where the other one is.
Our Upward Bound program and the College of Education originated back in 2017, and it's funded by the US Department of Education, and we serve about 60 students. We have a six week summer program. We do a lot of traveling with our students. We do college campus tours. It's really a phenomenal opportunity.
Darrell Dawsey: Tell me a little bit about how a student becomes eligible.
Sandra Gonzales: Our program serves two high schools in Southwest Detroit, Western International High School, and Cesar Chavez Academy High School. Upward Bound is kind of unique; it's not your traditional afterschool program because students who enroll in our program actually make an eight to 10 year commitment.
So, we recruit them as they're entering high school, so as rising ninth graders, and then we have them until the first day that they receive their college degree.
Darrell Dawsey: Why do you think this relationship is endured?
Sandra Gonzales: Well, I mean, I think for one thing, Upward Bound works. It's a highly successful program, and I think part of that is just having the opportunity to have this long and enduring relationship with the young people and the families that we work with.
And so that's, I think a lot of what Upward Bound is about. It's about nurturing young people where they are and helping them get to wherever they wanna go.
Darrell Dawsey: Sandra Gonzalez, thank you for joining us today.
Sandra Gonzales: Thank you for having me.
Extro: This has been “Warriors in the Community.” For more Wayne State News, please visit us online at today.wayne.edu/wwj and join us here next Monday at the same time for more warriors in the community.