Upward Bound Program

Upward Bound Website Picture


Upward Bound (UCUB), part of TRIO Programs, was created in 1964 by Cincinnati’s first Black mayor, Theodore M. Berry, to improve the representation of students of color and first-generation students on the nation’s college campuses. Within 54 years of service, UCUB has had an enormous impact on its participants by providing a long-term support system in the form of the academic skills, tutoring, social skills, mentoring, and motivation necessary to enter and complete a program of post-secondary education.  UCUB has served well over 1,000 students in Greater Cincinnati.

The Federal TRIO Programs are educational opportunity outreach programs designed to motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRIO includes six outreach and support programs targeted to serve and assist low-income, first-generation college students, and students with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs. Upward Bound is one of those sponsored high school programs that provides participants with the academic skills, social skills, and motivation necessary to enter and complete a program of post-secondary education. 


UCUB’s mission is to provide academic skills and motivation for eligible students to graduate from high school and obtain post-secondary education. Our vision is to foster academic achievement, cultural exposure, and life success for all eligible students, regardless of their racial or socioeconomic backgrounds.


Students completing the program are prepared not only for academic success, but overall lifetime success, producing well-rounded, holistic young adults with the tools to succeed in any endeavor they come across.


Students - Upward Bound offers our students an academic year (October-May) and a six-week summer program that offers a three-week residential campus life experience for our participants.  Below is a list of the free services our participants receive through Upward Bound.

  • High School Academic Instruction and Tutoring (in-person & virtual tutoring)

  • Academic Enrichment, Advising and Mentoring (*New Bound Life Specialist position will bring a year-round mentor for academic support and socio-emotional development)

  • ACT Test Prep

  • College and University Life Prep and Social Skills Development

  • Financial Aid Counseling

  • Financial Literacy

  • Free Food and Recreation While on Campus and Other Activities

  • Workshops and Seminars

  • Career and Cultural Development and Enrichment

  • College and Career Tours

  • Student Leadership Conference

  • Stipends and Work-Study (Stipends are awarded per semester for participation in events and activities)

  • College Dorm Stay during the summer. Opportunities for 3 to 6 weeks. Space is limited to 60-65 students and priority is given to students who have participated during the school year.

  • UC College Class for Summer Bridge Students. Three credit hours for those that graduated from high school.

Eligibility – For a student to be eligible to participate in Upward Bound, several requirements need to be met:

  • The applicant must meet Federal Low-Income Guidelines, OR be a “First Generation” student which means that the parent(s) living in the student’s household does/do not have a Bachelor’s degree OR have scores below the national average in math OR English testing.

  • The applicant must provide a transcript of their high school grades and standardized test scores (or 8th grade transcript if entering the 9th grade). School counselors may provide such documentation upon request.

  • The applicant must be an excellent school citizen with a good attendance record.

Current UCUB Staff:

Headshot of Orville McDonald, MHA

Orville McDonald, MHA


Teachers- Dyer Complex, Suite 631

Cell: 513-652-9912

Headshot of Vicky Dula, MA

Vicky Dula, MA

Academic Coordinator

Teachers- Dyer Complex, Suite 631

office number - 513-556-0965 cell number - 513-550-7698

Headshot of Denise Hewitt, M.Ed.

Denise Hewitt, M.Ed.

Community Engagement Coordinator

Teachers- Dyer Complex, Suite 631


Headshot of Ronda Tuggle, M.Ed

Ronda Tuggle, M.Ed

Bound Life Specialist


Headshot of Alwyn Stirling

Alwyn Stirling

Academic Specialist

Teachers College


How to Help

Please make donations in support of the Upward Bound program and its students:

Donate - Foundation - University of Cincinnati


More Information

Mailing Address:

Upward Bound (ML 0118)

CECH, University of Cincinnati

2220 Victory Parkway, 4th Floor Admin Building

Cincinnati, OH  45221-0118