WASHINGTON, DC - In an effort to help more low-income high school students prepare for college, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) today announced that the U.S. Department of Education will award Rhode Island College (RIC) $592,392 for its successful Upward Bound program. The funding is the first installment of a four year funding commitment. Senator Reed has been a long time supporter of Upward Bound and has consistently worked to ensure that the program continues to receive adequate funding from the federal government. "For over forty years now, Rhode Island College has been at the forefront of the Upward Bound program, giving thousands of Rhode Island students the opportunity to not only complete high school, but succeed at the next level and earn a college degree," stated Reed, a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. "The Upward Bound program helps provide kids with the motivation, skills, and opportunity to continue with their education, and I am pleased that RIC has received this federal investment to continue their important work." The Upward Bound program began at RIC 40 years ago, and was one of the first programs of its kind in the nation. The program provides support to participants to help them prepare for college. The program serves students from low-income families, families in which neither parent holds a bachelor's degree, and low-income first-generation military veterans who are preparing to enter post-secondary education. "I would like to thank Senator Reed for his staunch support of Upward Bound. I speak for all of Rhode Island College's past, present, and future participants of Upward Bound, in saying that we are most grateful to the U.S. Department of Education for extending the funds for the program for an additional four years," said RIC President John Nazarian. "In the more than 40 years that the program has been in existence, thousands of students have benefited significantly from it, and have gone on to become very successful members and contributors to society. We are so pleased that this legacy of success will continue in Rhode Island." RIC's Upward Bound program has served 2,000 students in six high schools around Rhode Island including Central, Hope, and Mt. Pleasant High Schools in Providence, Central Falls High School, East Providence High School, and Shea High School in Pawtucket. Mariam Boyajian, Director of the Upward Bound Program at RIC stated, "Rhode Island College marked its 40th anniversary last October and I am certain that the program will continue to be successful in helping students who otherwise would have no hope of receiving a secondary education do so."