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News Release

July 8, 2022

Upward Bound awarded five-year funding renewal

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) has renewed its funding award to continue Northwest Missouri State University’s Upward Bound program for another five years.

The funding, allocated through a competitive grant process, will provide $426,267 annually to the Northwest program for a total of more than $2.1 million through 2027. The grant will allow Upward Bound to serve 82 students when the next cycle begins Sept. 1.

Upward Bound is designed to help motivate and support students in overcoming class, social and cultural academic barriers to accessing and succeeding in higher education. In coordination with Upward Bound Math and Science (UBMS) and Student Support Services (SSS), the three programs comprise Northwest TRIO, a federally recognized educational outreach program designed for students with disadvantaged backgrounds.

TRIO was founded in 1964 when President Lyndon Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act, giving birth to Upward Bound as an experimental program.

Dr. Jay Johnson, the interim director of Northwest TRIO and the University’s associate provost for academic operations and development, noted Northwest received the highest amount of any Upward Bound program in the state, which is a reflection of the Northwest TRIO staff’s dedication to helping students succeed.

“With the Biden administration appropriating more funds to the DOE for TRIO programs, we knew the 2022 grant competition for Upward Bound would be very competitive nationally,” Johnson said. “Several new programs in Missouri received funding, but it was quite notable that Northwest’s program – as the oldest in the state – received the most funding for a single program. Our Upward Bound staff of Casey Wenstrand, Rachel Wistrom and Lisa Ruehter are excited to build upon our 36 years of successful programming while also welcoming the new grantees that will expand Upward Bound’s services to more Missouri high schools.”

Since launching in 1986, Northwest TRIO programs have promoted educational opportunities while assisting students in their personal journey of earning a higher education degree. Partnerships TRIO has within the Northwest campus community assist with addressing the unique needs of academically capable individuals who are first-generation students and come from families with limited income.

Earlier this summer, Northwest welcomed high school students from throughout the region to its campus as the Upward Bound programs hosted their annual six-week residential summer component.

The summer programs help students bridge the gap between high school and college while providing an environment to experience college life and independent living. The programs assist students with enhancing academic, social, leadership and cultural competency skills to become forward thinkers in education.

Thirty-one students participated in the Upward Bound camp and hailed from King City, Maryville, Northeast Nodaway, Rock Port, Stanberry, Tarkio and West Nodaway schools. They received instruction in math, laboratory science, composition, literature and foreign languages as well as assistance with reading, writing and study skills, among other subjects.

UBMS, which is funded by a separate DOE grant, hosted an additional 36 students from 16 high schools in the four-state area of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. The UBMS summer program allows students interested in STEM-related career fields opportunities to explore and learn in a highly intensive science-focused summer environment. Students also enrich their social, cultural and leadership skills with the help of high school teachers and university professors. 

For information about Northwest TRIO programs, visit


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215