Medaille College has received a grant from a U.S. Department of Education program that helps low-income, first-generation college-bound students prepare for higher education. The college will partner with Buffalo Public Schools to use those funds.
The five-year, $1.28 million grant comes from the U.S. Department of Education's Upward Bound program. It is the first time Medaille has received an Upward Bound grant.
The college will work with an estimated 60 students enrolled in Buffalo's Math, Science and Technology Preparatory School on East Delavan Avenue. Some of the students were present as Medaille and Buffalo Public Schools officials gathered to announce the partnership.
"Success in college, not just getting to it but getting success all the way through college, starts long before the six of you show up at Medaille College to complete your college work," said Medaille president Dr. Ken Macur. "Think of it, if you're into sports, we don't want to get to a playoff. We don't want to get to something. We want to finish that task."
Through Upward Bound, Medaille will assist eligible students with tutoring and counseling, entrance exam preparations and other support. Current student government president Taria Peeler says her school started slow, but her school is improving.
"I'm glad that we have these programs for everyone to take advantage of," said Peeler, who credited the leadership of princpal Derek Baker who, coincideltally, was a former participant of Upward Bound.
Another alumna of the program was there to share her success story. Kristine, who identified herself only by first name, participated in the program through Binghamton University.
"I applied to 11 different colleges and I got into all of them," she said. "But I chose Medaille because of their amazing vet tech program."
For Buffalo School Board member Sharon Belton-Cottman, MST's participation in Upward Bound is a chance to cheer for the underdog.
"This is one of our most needy schools," she said. "For me it's always good to have a good challenge."