CENTRAL COAST — More than $1.4 million in four separate grants have been secured for students at California State University Monterey Bay, Monterey Peninsula College and Hartnell College through the Upward Bound program.
“Leveling the playing field through federal grants is crucial to creating opportunities for prospective and current low-income students,” said Rep. Jimmy Panetta, who announced the grants. “As an alumnus of Monterey Peninsula College, I know how post-secondary education serves as a bridge to further education and career advancement for all types of students. These grants will allow CSUMB, MPC and Hartnell to advance their goals of educating a diverse workforce who will contribute to our communities along the Central Coast.”
The U.S. Department of Education grants will support community college students from low-income families and families in which neither parent holds a bachelor’s degree in preparing for college. The Upward Bound program aims to bolster student efforts to complete secondary education and graduate from post-secondary institutions.
“This grant funding will be life-changing for hundreds of families within the Hartnell College district,” said Erica Padilla-Chavez, Hartnell College board president. “The Upward Bound program at Hartnell has guided and inspired hundreds of students to pursue a college education, and now we know those efforts will not only continue, but also expand into Rancho San Juan High School in Salinas.”
The four Upward Bound grant totals were $366,431 and $297,601 for CSUMB; $462,416 for Monterey Peninsula College; and $297,601 for Hartnell College.
“It is a pleasure to get the opportunity to continue to serve our community with the two Upward Bound grants that we were awarded,” said Kim Barber, CSUMB director of pre-college programs. “During this vital time where education has been impacted due to the pandemic, it is even more important to have programs such as these to help our students overcome obstacles and challenges to succeed. Education is still a powerful weapon against poverty and is a vehicle for a better life for all.”
Rebecca Michael, Monterey Peninsula College vice president of advancement, added, “We are so pleased to be able to continue helping first-generation and low-income high school students prepare for college through MPC’s Upward Bound program. For over 30 years, these federal grant dollars have allowed us to provide academic assistance, educational advising and career guidance to more than 90 Monterey Peninsula Unified School District students each year. With a proven track record of improving academic performance and high school completion rates, the vast majority of MPC’s Upward Bound participants successfully enroll at a college or university immediately following high school.”