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Upward Bound Program - Indian River County

4875 43rd Avenue
Vero Beach, FL 32967
(772) 226-2680 or

What is Indian River County Upward Bound?

Indian River County Upward Bound is a learning experience that is sponsored by IRSC. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, Upward Bound was designed to generate skills and motivation among secondary level students to graduate from a post-secondary institution.

Indian River County Upward Bound is a college-oriented program that provides academic assistance and cultural experiences to students of Indian River County. It involves the home, community resources, and innovative methods that enliven traditional subjects.

Who is Eligible

Who is Eligible? The program selections are made up of students from varied cultural backgrounds at the following target schools:

  • Freshman Learning Center
  • Sebastian River High School
  • Vero Beach High School
  • Indian River Charter High School
  • Participation is not limited to the target schools.

All applicants must be starting their 9th, 10th grade year in High School. Although we serve our students through their senior year of high school, we do not accept juniors or seniors into our program.

Applicable students must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Potential 1st Generation College Graduate [Parent/Guardian did not graduate from a 4-year college/university. These students will be the first in their families to complete a post-secondary education.
  • Low income family
  • The eligibility requirements listed were created and established by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Indian River State College gives equal consideration to all applicants without regard to race, color, religion, creed, national origin, sex, age, marital status, disability, or veteran status.


There is no cost to the students for participation in Indian River County Upward Bound or its activities. Indian River County Upward Bound covers all meals, lodging, supplies, and insurance during the summer program. Spending money is optional for recreational activities, and personal care. Stipends are paid to students based upon their participation in activities, and academic progress.

Gifford Youth Activity Center

Students are rewarded with monthly stipends that are primarily based on their regular attendance, and academic progress.


Tutoring is held at the Gifford Youth Activity Center (GYAC) in Vero Beach, FL.

Weekly Tutoring is held Tuesday - Thursday from 2:45 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. at the IRSC Mueller Campus in Vero Beach, FL.

Saturday Tutorials/Activities are held on the 1st & 3rd Saturday from 9:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. at the Gifford Youth Activity Center (GYAC) in Vero Beach, FL.

The Indian River County Upward Bound Academic Counselor makes regularly visits to target schools to monitor student progress, collect academic data, and information on various educational opportunities and facilities. Assistance in completion of financial aid forms for post-secondary education is also available when needed. Students benefit from the program from the date of selection, until the end of the Bridge Program.

Participants tour other college campuses and meet with other Upward Bound programs in Florida. As these students live in the residence halls, college students act as Residential Counselors who supervise students during activities as live-in supervision. These Counselors also assist them with collegiate questions. At the end of the summer, students meet with over 800 Upward Bound students across the state of Florida to compete in academic and athletic areas. Although the program is designed to broaden the student's perception of college and self-understanding, the summer experience gives students a true "college experience."

Summer/Bridge Program

A six-week summer program is held at the IRSC Main Campus for 30 of our students. During the summer, students enroll in Dual Enrollment courses in several important areas that benefit them in both high school and college. The staff monitors the student's summer grades to ensure success. Afternoons are devoted to study time, fine arts, structured group activities, career awareness, and personal counseling in addition to recreational programs including weight lifting, swimming, softball and other sports.

Seniors participate in the Bridge program, a unique component of the summer residency component. Through the Bridge program, seniors enroll in actual college courses during the summer residential program to prepare for independent college study. The Bridge Program is designed to aid senior students in making a successful transition from high school to college.

Parents Corner

Parents of "Indian River County Upward Bounders" are encouraged to take an active part in their student's participation with Indian River County Upward Bound. The mission of the Parent Association is to provide guidance and community resources for the purpose of assisting the Indian River County Upward Bound Program in its efforts to accomplish academic goals within the community.

Parent Association Meetings

  • 2nd Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. Meetings areĀ held in the Recreation Room in the Gifford Center.

Parents are required to participate in a minimum of three Upward Bound activities annually as chaperones, recruiters, fund-raisers, and motivators. This creates a strong bond between the parents and Indian River County Upward Bound staff.



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