Upward Bound, the oldest of a series of programs known as TRIO Programs, was created as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson's "War on Poverty". Specific legislation for the program was initially authorized under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 and later moved to be included under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965. This legislation which authorized the TRIO programs sought to provide educational opportunity for all Americans regardless of race, ethnic background or economic circumstance.
The Upward Bound Program has been in existence on the campus of Baldwin Wallace University since 1968. Former Baldwin Wallace University President, A.B. Bonds, Jr. was instrumental in bringing Upward Bound to Baldwin Wallace's campus. Under President Bond's leadership, Ernest Kozma, from BW's Education Department wrote the first grant proposal. That initial grant application proposed that an Upward Bound be funded for 50 students attending Cleveland Public High Schools. Target areas to be served reflected high rates of poverty and/or evidenced lower levels of educational attainment. The schools proposed to be serviced by the Upward Bound Program in this initial grant were Lincoln High and West High schools on the near west side and on the east side in the Kinsman area, East Technical and John Adams High Schools.
Upward Bound, today, is funded to serve 91 participants. The target high schools are now Glenville, Washington Park, John Adams, and John F. Kennedy High Schools. The Upward Bound Program is still committed to offering participants the opportunity to better their educational, personal and social situations. Upward Bound will continue to encourage its participants to strive for a better life for themselves by giving them the tools they need to achieve their highest potential.