GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY)—After widespread cancellations last year due to the pandemic, Wisconsin’s public universities are reintroducing pre-college and youth summer programs this year. At the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, that means the return of a six-week residential program designed for low-income, first-generation college students.Enrollment has been slow for the normally popular Upward Bound program.A 2019 UW-Milwaukee graduate, Vicky Villarreal attended UW-Green Bay’s Upward Bound program during all four years of high school.
She calls it a life changer.
“I did the entire program, and I was given so many opportunities to just learn about what was out there for me and not just in terms of what college is but what programs, what opportunities I could take part in during college,” said Villarreal.
“We bring kids here to campus to study in classrooms here, experience college life. For a low-income, first-generation student, it may be the first time they’ve ever really stepped foot and spent any time on a college campus, which really helps change the mindset,” Michael Casbourne said. Casbourne, as director of TRIO & Pre-college, heads the federally-funded program at UWGB, which is free to the students. He says normally the program would be full right now with 90 students registered.