Students who might think college is an impossible dream can renew their hopes in the messages of two new videos. Taped and produced at Virginia Tech, with help from Virginia high school and college students, the videos feature participants in two federally funded programs that Virginia Tech operates.

Viewers can see the short videos, one featuring Upward Bound, and the other featuring Talent Search, on YouTube.

"College is possible, and the way to get there is clear," says Kimberly Andrews, director of Talent Search and Upward Bound, the two federal TRIO programs at Virginia Tech.  "Because of programs like TRIO, students who would otherwise not have a chance to attend college are able to not only get information, but also receive services that will help them prepare for and persist through their secondary education."

TRIO refers to a group of programs funded by the U.S. Department of Education, which last year awarded Virginia Tech a five-year, $1.85 million grant to continue Upward Bound.

Thousands of students have benefited from services offered by the programs since Upward Bound was established at the university in 1967 and Talent Search in 1973. The programs ease the transition for first-generation college-bound students (and others who meet eligibility requirements) as they progress from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs.

Upward Bound and Talent Search are part of the university’s Office of Engagement in Outreach and International Affairs.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.