Upward Bound is a summer program that introduces District 214 students to the outdoors in an educational setting. The program includes an eight-day session along with four or five day trips per summer, introducing students to ropes course challenges, indoor rock climbing, hiking, and biking. Click the links below for more information about the program.

About Upward Bound
Photo Gallery
Upward Bound Staff
Who Should Attend? 


About Upward Bound

Forty years ago, several District 214 special education teachers attended the nationally famous Outward Bound Program and felt that Mother Nature had a lot of lessons to offer to teenagers. Problem-solving strategies that work, how to be an effective member of a group, self-reliance, improved self-esteem, an appreciation of nature, and a wide variety of practical outdoor skills that apply to daily life are just a sampling of what Mother Nature has to offer all of us! Those same teachers returned home and started a program known as Upward Bound, District 214's scaled-down version of Outward Bound. Since then, the program has changed and continues to change.

Currently, sessions are eight days long and four or five different trips are scheduled throughout the summer. This year, each session will run from 7:30 a.m until 3:30 p.m, originating daily from Hersey High School. Day trips may include activities such as team building, low ropes challenge courses, indoor rock wall climbing, swimming, canoeing/kayaking, hiking and biking as well as a service learning activity. These activities allow students to explore problem-solving strategies, to practice how to be an effective member of a group, and to be more self-reliant. By attending Upward Bound, students gain skills that contribute to improved self-esteem and a greater appreciation of nature. Students will also learn a wide variety of practical outdoor skills that apply to daily life. 

All of the instructors in the program are certified District 214 teachers. Instructors complete training each year to insure the safest possible trip. Be advised, though, that your student will come back possibly bruised, scratched, dirty, bitten, exhausted, and, hopefully, very proud of what he or she accomplished! 

You can't find a better outdoor education bargain anywhere; the cost to you is only $175 plus daily busing, if needed. Everything else is provided by the school district.  Also, your student can earn .5 elective credit, or may qualify to earn 1 semester of P.E. make-up credit. Regardless of the need for additional credits, this is an excellent opportunity so take advantage of it!

If you would like your student to experience the outdoors in an educational setting, simply contact your student’s counselor to start the registration process.

If you have any questions, please call (847) 718-7816.



Upward Bound Registration Procedure

  1. Student meets with counselor to determine Upward Bound course credit and summer school session desired.
  2. The student registers for the appropriate session and pays online.
  3. The student is officially registered for a specific session when they have turned in their completed registration packet, paid for the course, and are contacted by an Upward Bound staff member. 
    • Payment can also be made in The Academy at Forest View. All checks or money orders should be made out to Township High School District 214 and given to the The Academy secretary. The summer school registration form will also need to be included with the payment.

The Summer 2018 Upward Bound program will be held from June 11-21.

Questions? Call (847) 718-7816.


Upward Bound Staff



E-Mail Address


Mike Rusniak, Coordinator TAFV michael.rusniak@d214.org 847-718-7816
Lisa Cottrell PHS lisa.cottrell@d214.org 847-718-5570
Mike Pond RMHS mike.pond@d214.org 847-718-5846



Who Should Attend?

Upward Bound was created with the intent to give every District 214 student an opportunity to attend, at least once. In fact, it is a goal of the Upward Bound staff to have every District 214 student participate in at least one. In fact, it is a goal of the Upward Bound staff to have every District 214 student participate in at least one session over the course of a student’s career in District 214. The experience is a once in a lifetime chance to learn life skills and bond with fellow peers and faculty from District 214. Because it it’s a school-sponsored trip, the cost is EXTREMELY reasonable at only $175.

Upward Bound has had such great reviews, often times our attendees are veterans and enjoy attending Upward Bound more than once. Yes, parents, school, homework, drama … it all gets stressful, so why not let nature relax you at an exciting, fun filled, Upward Bound getaway? Enjoy beautiful nature walks, hiking, biking, and so much more.

Just think of all the super cool Facebook pictures you’ll have! So don’t sit at home and watch some boring re-runs of Oprah and Judge Judy, come along with us this summer on a D214 Upward Bound Trip!