FAMU TRIO Upward Bound Math and Science Program Secures $1.7M Funding for Five More Years

November 03, 2022
TRIO Students
FAMU TRIO Upward Bound Math and Science Program Secures $1.7M Funding for Five More Years

TRIO UBMS students pose outside of their bus after a trip to iFly of Jacksonville

The Florida A&M University (FAMU) TRIO Upward Bound Math and Science (UBMS) Program received an additional $1.7 million in federal funding over the next five years to continue serving high school students from underserved backgrounds in Leon and Madison counties.

The UBMS Program’s goal is to increase students’ participation and success rates in mathematics and science pre-college courses, thereby increasing the pool of STEM (science technology, engineering, and mathematics) majors in college and hence the number of STEM trained individuals for the workforce. 

The UBMS program aims to help students meet and exceed both the state and national educational standards, thus helping students to be college ready upon high school graduation.

“We are very happy to have received renewal of the Upward Bound Math and Science program supporting students in the surrounding counties,” said William E. Hudson, Jr., Ph.D., vice president for Student Affairs. “Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math are programs of strategic emphasis for the university. Making an investment in high school students through this program provides a pipeline of college ready students. Mrs. Nance continues to provide excellent leadership of this program.”

TRIO StudentTRIO UBMS Senior Kamya Ervin poses with a snake during a field trip to the Jacksonville Museum of Science and History (Credit: FAMU TRIO)

The UBMS program provides tutoring, workshops, standardized test prep, educational field trips, career exploration, college application and financial aid assistance to its participants in an effort to help them find success early in high school and beyond.

The program even hosts a six-week residential program on FAMU’s campus during the summer when UBMS students take several educational courses, and participate in a plethora of activities that promote their mental, physical, social and emotional health throughout the camp.

Program Director Zaychina Nance wrote a UBMS grant request that was funded to serve 70 high school participants who attend FAMU DRS, Godby, Rickards and Madison County High Schools.

“As a first-generation college student, I know first-hand the importance of having people to help guide you on your educational journey,” said Nance, who has been with the FAMU TRIO programs for more than 20 years. “I have had the opportunity to witness students achieve what they thought was impossible.”

Nance is also the director of the TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) program. The SSS Program is funded to serve 250 currently enrolled FAMU students in their pursuit and completion of their undergraduate degree.

TRIO Programs are federal outreach programs designed to serve and assist low-wealth individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post-baccalaureate degrees. 

The traditional Upward Bound program was the first of several programs to be established under the TRIO umbrella, which started out as just three programs. FAMU was one of the first institutions of higher education to receive the federal funding at the inception of the TRIO programs in 1965 through President Lyndon B. Johnson’s war on poverty authorized under the Higher Education Act. 

Upward Bound Math and Science, meant to be a sister program to Upward Bound with a specific focus on STEM, came about in the 1990s and has been a staple program at FAMU since then. FAMU UBMS began as a regional program that served students from surrounding states, but has since focused its efforts on Leon and Madison County students like Kamya Ervin, who currently serves as the 2022-23 Miss FAMU DRS.

“The FAMU TRIO UBMS program has helped me in becoming more social, pushing me harder, learning more discipline and just being a better person all around with the experiences and opportunities given to me while participating in the program,” Ervin said.

Over the last 30 years, thousands of high-school students have benefited from the information, exposure, and assistance that the UBMS program provides. Over 50 percent of UBMS program participants go on to complete degrees at post-secondary institutions within six years of high school graduation.

FAMU serves more than 2,500 students through its federal TRIO Programs. The programs consist of TRIO Upward Bound Math and Science, TRIO Student Support Services, TRIO Talent Search and the TRIO Educational Opportunity Center.