College-bound students get hands-on agricultural experience at CIS


More than 60 high school students received hands-on agricultural training with the University of Guam Center for Island Sustainability (CIS) on July 18 through UOG’s Upward Bound program. The Upward Bound program is designed to motivate and prepare low-income or first-generation college students to pursue a college education.

The agricultural opportunity at CIS was the start of a new STEM partnership between the two organizations.

“We want the kids to have a hands-on experience — something that they could also practice at home long term and benefit not just the community, but themselves as well,” said Vivian Valdes, Educational Specialist Advisor for Upward Bound.

The students volunteered at the center’s UOG Green Garden, where they learned sustainable agricultural practices and planted more than 60 “earth buckets,” or plants designated for community food distribution.

“With each earth bucket, the students learned how to properly grow and care for an assortment of vegetables and herbs,” said Raymond Shinohara, CIS research assistant. “In turn, we’re improving our island’s food security.”

The University of Guam Center for Island Sustainability was established in 2009 to lead and support the transition of island communities toward a sustainable future. CIS has since become a focal institute in the region for adapting and modeling sustainable technologies to meet island needs in the broader areas of the environment, economy, society, and education. Learn more about CIS by visiting

The University of Guam Upward Bound Program is designed to help college-bound high school students who are low-income or will be first-generation college students. It aims to provide the students the skills and motivation necessary to enroll in college immediately after graduating high school. The program is 100 percent federally funded and is managed through UOG’s TRiO office for economically and educationally disadvantaged students. Learn more at (PR)

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