Jan. 15, 2014 — Arabic, financial literacy, ACT preparation and good study habits aren't classes you find at either of Carter County's high schools.
But for a group of about 50 Carter students, those classes are a reality, thanks to Upward Bound.
The program is federally-funded and serves high school students from low-income families and high school students from families in which neither parent holds a bachelor's degree.
According to its website, 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.
Both East and West Carter high schools are served through the program at Morehead State University, one of the first institutions to be funded in the early 1960s.
“Students in this program see an increase in their high school GPA and are statistically more successful when they go to college,” said Chris Prichard said.
He has been with Upward Bound for five years, two as a full-time counselor for Carter, Morgan and Magoffin county schools.
“We have a long waiting list at both schools, because we can't take more students over our funded number,” Prichard said. “I hate to turn students away but we have been at level funding since 2007.”
And the students are very aware of the opportunities the program gives them.
“It prepares you for college life and you get a few college classes out of the way,” said Bradley Blackburn, a junior at East, during last week's Upward Bound meeting. “We stay on campus during the summer to take classes and it really helped me come out of my shell. Before, I was one of the most anti-social people you could meet.”
The group was learning about financial literacy during that meeting, which most teens don't think about before college.