High School Students Advance Education at ESU

EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. -- School may be out for the summer for most kids, but not for one group of high schoolers.

About 60 students from five schools are advancing their education at East Stroudsburg University.

It's all part of the university's Project Upward Bound program.

"I'm trying to get a jump start for when I do go to school so I am ahead of everyone. I can know what I am doing, and I am not struggling," said Giana Pennisi, ESAHS North 10th Grade.

Over the summer, students spend six weeks taking classes to prepare them for the next school year, everything from math and science to reading and writing.

It's the 45th year the program has been offered on campus and it comes at no cost to students for parents because it's federally funded.

"We work with students as soon as they finish eighth grade. We continue working with them until after they graduate high school and we also keep in touch with them until six years afterwards to make sure they graduate from college," said Janine Hyde-Broderick, Project Upward Bound.

Not only does this program give students the opportunity for advanced learning, but it also gives them a feel for college life.

"I like it. I like being able to walk between everything and getting a grasp on what college life is like," said Pennisi.

Directors say a majority of the students enrolled with be the first in their families to attend college.

"You need to get used to college and since they have Upward Bound, hopefully for four years, for six weeks every summer, they know how to maneuver those social waters," said Hyde-Broderick.

Upward Bound project instructors say it's a great opportunity for these students.

"We really raise the bar for the students, and they are happy to meet that bar and they work hard to do so," said Denise Zhaytor-Zugarek, Upward Bound instructor.

This summer's Project Upward Bound wraps up next week with an awards ceremony.

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