Clearwater Valley Upward Bound Provides Access and Prepares Low-income, First-Generation Students for Success in College

Friday, June 11 2010

Written by Stacey Karn

MOSCOW, Idaho – Twenty-nine high school students will get first-hand college experiences and the chance to compete for several college scholarships, thanks to a sponsored program partnership between the Clearwater Valley Upward Bound –or CVUB – and the University of Idaho’s College of Education.

The CVUB summer program is designed to give low-income, first generation students the chance to explore college life and to find out what it means to continue their education, while at the same time providing students the resources and knowledge to become successful in their college careers. Students involved in the program come from high schools in Lapwai, Orofino, Kamiah and Kooskia. While CVUB works with its participants year round,the summer program runs June 13 – July 13.

“The first two weeks of the program will focus on college exploration and readiness,” said Michael Highfill, program director. “During this time, students will have the opportunity to work with faculty, staff, and students from across campus, and will take part in a number of activities intended to make their choice to pursue a college education personally relevant and meaningful.”

Students will spend their time on the University of Idaho campus participating in workshops and activities through the Associated Students of the University of Idaho, Student Engagement Office, Student Media, Career and Professional Planning, Student Financial Aid Services, the NASA Idaho Space Grant and TRiO Alumni Society. They will complete projects within the College of Engineering and the College of Business and Economics will begin their college academic careers by enrolling in three credits of college coursework; and, even will compete for scholarships offered by the College of Business and Economics.

Teara Lyons, a University of Idaho sophomore in architecture and CVUB participant, praised the program. “It was because of CVUB’s mission, its staff and their belief in me that all of this was possible,” Lyons said. “They fully supported me and advocated for me every step of the way. In Upward Bound, I found people that could not only assist me with the ACTs, college admission, financial aid, choosing college prep classes, tutoring and study skills, but I found my passion, my future.”

The last two weeks of the program, students will have the chance to experience other college campuses on the East Coast, including George Washington University, Georgetown, American University, the University of Virginia, Pratt Institute and New York University.

While on the East Coast, students will volunteer at Street Sense and the Capitol Area Food Bank. They will visit sites and museums of historical and cultural significance, including the White House, the Capitol, the Smithsonian, Monticello, the National Constitution Center, Ellis Island, the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Additionally, they will attend a performance of the National Symphony Orchestra and productions of Othello at the Kennedy Center and Green Day’s American Idiot on Broadway. They will celebrate the Fourth of July in Washington, D.C.

“CVUB’s summer program is more than workshops, coursework, and scholarships--more than college and museum visits, volunteerism, and experiencing the arts,” said Highfill. “Through critical thinking, reflection and an examination of the meaning and purpose of an individual’s education, CVUB connects these activities and services, giving them meaning and inspiring passion, curiosity, and a sense of responsibility.”

For more information about the Clearwater Valley Upward Bound program, which is completely funded by the U.S. Department of Education, visit
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About the University of Idaho
Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s flagship higher-education institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year; the University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation ranking for high research activity. The university’s student population includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars. Offering more than 130 degree options in 10 colleges, the university combines the strengths of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. The university is home to the Vandals, the 2009 Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl champions. For information, visit

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit