WKU Upward Bound awarded $2.1 million federal grant

Photo: Western Kentucky University/
Photo: Western Kentucky University/
Published: May. 25, 2022 at 9:11 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - WKU Upward Bound has been awarded a five-year grant totaling $2.1 million from the U.S. Department of Education to continue serving first-generation and/or low-income students in five area counties.

Western Kentucky University received its first Upward Bound grant in 1983 and has served about 3,000 students in the past four decades.

Upward Bound, one of six federally funded TRIO Programs at WKU, serves 86 students from six southcentral Kentucky high schools: Allen County-Scottsville, Butler County, Edmonson County, Hart County, Logan County, and Russellville.

“I am so excited that the WKU Upward Bound Project will continue its greatness in assisting students with college access and success,” said Dr. Martha Sales, Executive Director of TRiO Programs. “TRIO works and WKU TRIO rocks!”

The goal of Upward Bound is to increase the rate at which participants complete secondary education and enroll in and graduate from institutions of postsecondary education. The 12-month program provides assistance with high school course selection, study skills, ACT preparation, college and career information, college selection, and financial aid application.

Cameron Carr-Calvert, Director of WKU Upward Bound, said staff visits each high school three times per month throughout the school year to meet with students. Programs are presented once a month on Saturdays from September through May on WKU’s campus. Students attend a six-week residential program each summer that focuses on academics and provides cultural and social enrichment opportunities.

“Upward Bound has helped me accomplish so many goals,” said Promise Willhite, a graduate of Logan County High School and The Gatton Academy Class of 2022 who will continue her studies at WKU this fall. “At first it was simply to open up and make new friends and experience new things, but I have been pushed to accomplish that and so much more.”

For more about WKU Upward Bound, visit

Copyright 2022 WBKO. All rights reserved.