Ferry and Stevens Counties

Washington State University's Upward Bound program helps students gain the academic skills and motivation they need for success in high school, college, and everyday life. Established in 2004, the program is designed for high school students in grades 9-12 and specifically targets four high schools in Washington's Ferry and Stevens counties: Columbia, Inchelium, Mary Walker, and Wellpinit.

The program provides support and programming during the academic year, followed by a four-week summer residential program that provides students with a preview of the college experience, including living in a campus dorm.

Upward Bound program staff are proud members of Northwest Association Educational Opportunity Programs (NAEOP) and the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE)


Students may be Eligible to Participate in the Upward Bound Program if:

  • They are a student at Columbia, Inchelium, Mary Walker, or Wellpinit High School, are entering grades 9 through 12, and are between the ages of 13 and 19.
  • Their parents did not graduate from a four-year college or university.
  • They are classified as low-income based on standards provided by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • They have an interest in pursuing a bachelor's degree at a four-year college or university following graduation.
  • They are willing to apply to three colleges or universities by November 21 of their senior year
  • They demonstrate an interest in registering for and taking a standardized test, such as the SAT, and/or ACT.
  • They maintain an open mind toward new cultural, social, educational, and recreational experiences.
  • They are willing to pursue a rigorous course curriculum and attend all Upward Bound individual and group meetings.



  • All Upward Bound services are provided FREE of charge to eligible participants.
  • During the academic year, students receive stipends of up to $20 per month for completing program activities. Students participating in the summer program receive $15 per week.
  • All Upward Bound pre-approved program expenses (classes, housing, meals, and field trips) are paid for by the program.


  • All students must work hard in school to attain a 2.5 grade point average (GPA) in all of their academic courses and incrementally increase their yearly cumulative GPA by 0.05 or higher.
  • Students must pursue a rigorous course curriculum (pdf), as described in the Washington State College Academic Distribution Requirements (CADRs).
  • Students must request tutoring from UB staff if obtaining a C or less in any class.
  • Students must attend all academic activities as required.
  • Seniors must apply for admission to three colleges or universities.
  • Students need to complete required standardized testing.

Services Offered

  • Study skills development
  • Tutorial assistance
  • Career exploration
  • Assistance in choosing a college
  • Tours of college and university campuses and visits to college fairs
  • College application and financial aid application assistance
  • SAT, ACT, and/or college application fee waivers
  • Standardized test preparations for the SAT and ACT
  • Social, cultural, and recreational opportunities
  • Summer classes in composition and literature, math, computers, science, and foreign languages
  • Financial aid and scholarship search assistance
  • Financial literacy
  • Stipends (up to $30/month for completion of program requirements)


Saadia Beckman

Name: Saadia B

Class Standing: Senior '2012 at Mary Walker High School

Years in Upward Bound: 4

My goals: 

  1. To be a first generation college student
  2. To demonstrate my strengths as a student and person in everyday life.
  3. To make everybody aware that no matter the circumstances, if there is a will, there is a way.
  4. To go to college and major in business management.

How Upward Bound has Inspired me to Obtain a College Education:

I come from a background with few opportunities. I was constantly moving from home to home, which limited my interactions with people and my chances. In 8th grade, Upward Bound was brought to my attention. Applying for it seemed pointless because I had no future. My parents did not go anywhere and saw me as merely a reflection of their inexperienced youth. Not only did my parents not go to college, but I was moving from foster home to foster home so frequently, I could not see the benefits of becoming an Upward Bound scholar.

Going against every part of my body, I applied and was accepted into Upward Bound. This was a feeling I had never experienced. For the first time in my life I felt wanted, l knew I had a purpose. I slowly began to find my niche. I was getting advice about classes, homework, budgeting, jobs, and discovering steps to take that ensure I would be college ready. Thankfully, I stayed at my current high school and could access the tools that Upward Bound provides. Things between freshman and senior year were rough, and I even changed households, but I found the will and support to stay focused on my goals and keep what I had going for me.

I am on track to go to college. I have explored a rigorous college curriculum and have applied to four colleges (Central Washington University, Western Washington University, Eastern Washington University, and Heritage College). I have academically achieved more than my entire family could have expected of me. Looking back, the only challenge in life I really faced was fear. Sure, there were physical blockades but as far as school goes, I could have put more effort into my work and personal development ...I could have used more of the tools Upward Bound gave me. If I could go back, I would have challenged myself more. However, I firmly believe that there is a lesson in every activity in life. My parents, school, friends, and Upward Bound have provided me with increased strength.

Upward Bound has shown me that I have the strength to go to college and be successful! I am. I am positive that college is achievable for you, me, and any other person who desires to reach for this goal. Your future is in your hands—what you do with it is entirely up to you. Upward Bound is a privilege, and I am so thankful I was selected to be one of their scholars.

If you want to be featured in the Student Spotlight, contact Upward Bound.


Jenna McCoy

Jenna McCoy


Program Director

Jenna McCoy began working for the Upward Bound Program in October 2004 as an on-site tutor at Columbia High School and was promoted to academic coordinator in September 2007. She took on the role of Director in August 2012. She provides academic advising and counseling, plans activities, and helps students with course curriculum. Ms. McCoy also assists students with admissions applications and registration for college entrance exams. She earned her BA in Social Sciences from Washington State University. Go Cougs!


Jenna McCoy
Program Director

Kaylene Larson
Academic Coordinator

Michelle Lojas
Academic Coordinator

We are located at:
Mary Walker High School

PO Box 75
Springdale, WA 99173

Phone: (509) 258-7365

E-mail: spok.ub@wsu.edu

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