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Upward Bound students receive running shoes

Upward Bound staff before shoe distribution

Participants in NDSU's Upward Bound program have received some special early holiday gifts. On Dec. 13, the students opened boxes of athletic shoes supplied through the generosity of Bell State Bank and Go Far Events.

According to Angela Seewald-Marquardt, Upward Bound program director, the gifts resulted from efforts by program tutor Michael Knutson's parents, Mark Knutson and Tracy McFarlane.

McFarlane is an employee of Bell State Bank, where each worker is given annual Pay It Forward money to benefit groups and individuals within the community. Mark Knutson is the owner of Fargo Running Co. in West Fargo and executive director of the Fargo Marathon. He has experience donating shoes through the Shoes for Kids program of the Fargo Marathon. Through their combined efforts, providing shoes to the Upward Bound students became reality.

Forty-three students received Nike shoes with an estimated value of $4,300. “Some students chose shoes for a specific sport while others chose everyday athletic shoes. All of them were excited and grateful for the generous gift,” said Seewald-Marquardt about the students’ reaction to the gifts.

Upward Bound is a U.S. Department of Education program that provides support to participants throughout high school and preparation to enter college. The program serves high school students from low-income families and/or students from families in which neither parent holds a bachelor's degree.

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North Dakota State University
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