Upward Bound TRIO Program Brings Students, Seniors Together to Help Animals

Nimble hands worked together and friendships formed when students in the Upward Bound Program recently met with Golden PAWS senior volunteers to craft colorful blankets for homeless animals at the Arlington Animal Services Center.

Upward Bound, a Federal TRIO Program at the University of Texas at Arlington, received a grant from the Arlington Alliance for Youth and the shelter was chosen as a recipient of their generosity through their good deeds, camaraderie and community service. The TRIO Pre-College Programs are federally funded programs awarded to UT Arlington through grant opportunities with the U.S. Department of Education. The programs are designed to increase the motivation and academic skills of low-income/first generation youth.

“It is activities like the Blankets of Love, which engage our youth in ways that allow them to reach higher than they ever dreamt they were capable,” said Lisa Thompson, TRIO Pre-College Programs Senior Director.

Golden PAWS shared their crafting experience with the students, who ranged from 9th graders through 12th graders. More than 30 blankets were created during their visit to the shelter.

“This was a fantastic opportunity for our students to give back to the community and to learn about responsible pet ownership,” said Brianne Orr, Director of Upward Bound UT Arlington.

Animal Services Manager Chris Huff spoke to the group about responsible pet ownership, provided a tour of the shelter, and responded to group questions about shelter operations.

“It was really fun to make the blankets because we know it goes to a good cause. Special thanks to Golden Paws along with Arlington Animal Services for providing us with an enjoyable way to help our community,” said Jonathan Rivera, Senior at South Grand Prairie High School.

UT Arlington’s TRIO program supports high school students from Arlington, Grand Prairie, and Mansfield Independent School Districts and is a proud sponsor of Arlington’s annual Animal Essay Contest.

Dreams become reality through great partnerships like these in The American Dream City.

Learn more about TRIO and Upward Bound Programs.