February 2023 Community Partner: Collinwood High School 

Mary Miller, principal at the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s (CMSD) Collinwood High School, has had a long and positive relationship with the TRIO Upward Bound program at Case Western Reserve. 

Miller was first introduced to the pre-college program when she was the principal at CMSD’s John F. Kennedy High School and she’s been advocating for students to participate at Collinwood for the past nine years. She knows the impact that Upward Bound at Case Western Reserve can have on her students. 

“Some of the students have gone on to college,” she explains. “And they have the benefit of building relationships with peers and adults who don’t work in our building.”

Each year, between five and eight students participate in TRIO Upward Bound. Miller is hopeful that participation grows, as she believes the program exposes students to the possibilities that come with additional education. 

She acknowledges that high school students have many competing interests that often prevent them from enrolling, including eligibility restrictions. And those factors, combined with students who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, can make recruitment a challenge.

Still, she wants to see the program continue for students who qualify. “The summer program has been good for the students. It gives them the opportunity to socialize with other students in the district and it exposes them to things that they wouldn’t necessarily experience,” she says. “That can make a real difference.”