A Helping Hand at Cal Poly CENG

Woman sanding box
Marlen Reyes, a high school student from Santa Maria, sands a box that will become a game used in a fundraiser for the Imagination Park. Reyes is participating in Upward Bound, a 6-week program at Cal Poly that prepares kids for college.

High school students in the Upward Bound program sanded, sawed and painted at the Bonderson last week, creating games for Jack’s Helping Hand, a charity that assists children with disabilities.

The federally-funded Upward Bound provides support for low-income, first generation college-bound students. Through the program, students spend six weeks at a residential summer academy at Cal Poly.

“The students in our program work with us year-round and must maintain active participation to be eligible for Summer Academy,” said Melissa Giddens, the Upward Bound program coordinator. “Each student is taking both a math and science class that is meant to prepare them for their courses during the coming school year.”

Instructors, teaching assistants and residential staff at Upward Bound are all current or recent Cal Poly students. While here, Upward Bound participants work on a project to create a product or solution for a local organization. This year, the organizations included One Cool EarthCal Poly MOST Program, the Morro Bay National Estuary Program and Jack’s Helping Hand.

Several students built games for the Imagination Park Fall Classic, a fundraiser put on by Jack’s Helping Hand in September. The fundraiser supports a unique park in Nipomo allowing disabled children play alongside children without disabilities.

The Cal Poly College of Engineering understands there has been an enormous amount of turmoil and transition due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). As we continue offering support to our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends, we also continue providing critical updates as well as college highlights. Ours is a college full of creative and bright engineers and staff. For more information on COVID-19 visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. For more information on how Cal Poly is responding to COVID-19, visit the Cal Poly Coronavirus website Coronavirus website.

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