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Upward Bound student Castorena to attend Stanford

STANFORD, CA -- Among the high school seniors receiving acceptance letters from Stanford University's Office of Undergraduate Admissions this year was Jorge Castorena, a resident of East Palo Alto and a student in Stanford's Upward Bound program.

Castorena is one of a handful of students from the Ravenswood City School District to gain admission to Stanford in recent years. Born in Mexico and the oldest of five children, he is the first person in his family to earn a high school diploma.

A student at Carlmont High School in Belmont, to which some students from East Palo Alto are bused, Castorena has been a participant in Stanford Upward Bound for four years and also attended the Haas Center's East Palo Alto/Stanford Summer Academy as a middle-school student.

"Jorge is the consummate Upward Bounder," said Suzette DeGrange, current Stanford Upward Bound director. "Since entering the program, he has always insisted on taking full advantage of the range of services we offer, committing 4,000 hours to developing the skills necessary for success in college."

Stanford Upward Bound is one of more than 530 Upward Bound programs nationwide that serve approximately 42,000 students. Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Upward Bound is the oldest federally funded education equity program in the country. It aims to motivate and prepare low-income, first- generation high school students for admission to college.

Stanford Upward Bound, now in its 14th year, serves 70 students from the Sequoia Union High School District, which includes the communities of East Palo Alto, East Menlo Park and the Fair Oaks area of Redwood City. For the past three years, Stanford Upward Bound has had a 100 percent high school graduation and college matriculation rate. The program offers year-round academic, career and personal counseling, and includes a six-week summer residential program on the Stanford campus.


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