YVC Upward Bound student Lupita Reyes earns NAEOP achievement award
Yakima Valley College’s Upward Bound (UB) program is excited to announce that student Lupita Reyes of Toppenish has been awarded the FON Scholarship Achievement Award from the Northwest Association Educational Opportunity Programs (NAEOP). This competitive scholarship is open to students involved in TRIO programs in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska.
YVC’s TRIO UB program is federally funded by the U.S. Department of Education and serves students who attend Sunnyside, Granger, Wapato and Toppenish high schools in grades 9 – 12. Each year, YVC’s program helps more than 100 students, like Reyes, better understand and prepare for success in the college environment. Upward Bound supports students, especially first-generation college students, who may find college to be overwhelming.
The FON Scholarship includes a $1,500 monetary award. The number of students selected annually for this award varies depending on the amount of funds raised. This year, nine students were selected from TRIO participants across the four-state region who have overcome barriers to achieve outstanding academic success.
Reyes, who graduated from Toppenish High School in 2021, will use the scholarship in the fall when she transfers to the University of Washington.
Reyes has participated in YVC’s UB program since 2017. Through this program she was able to participate in a 6-week summer residential program — which enables students to take core classes and earn additional high school credit and sometimes college credits while living in YVC dorms to get a feel for what college will be like— each of the four years she participated in YVC’s program.
A first-generation college student, Reyes said YVC’s UB program expanded her knowledge of college and helped her find success in the application process.
“Upward Bound taught me about college, but also how to make decisions about my future,” she said. “Through the program I was encouraged to follow my dreams and not let others’ opinions deter me from my goals. UB provided me resources like advising, tutoring and the summer program where I got to experience college life while also creating meaningful friendships with my peers. I also received immense support from the Upward Bound staff with the scholarship and college application processes during my senior year.”
In addition to the residential program, UB exposes students to a wide range of cultural, career and college activities throughout the year. These activities focus on setting up students to be prepared for what senior year has in store with the demanding college process.
Reyes is the first YVC student to earn this award. She will be presented with this scholarship during the TRIO Achievers Luncheon held during the NAEOP regional conference in Bellevue, Wash., in October 2021.