Upward Bound Summer Celebration

July 12, 2011

Upward Bound Summer Celebration


VALDOSTA -- Valdosta State University’s Upward Bound (UB) explored highlights from its summer program Friday, July 8, during a recognition luncheon and celebration in the University Center Magnolia Room.

During the luncheon, several UB students, instructors and staff members were recognized for academic excellence and participation. The event also featured reflections from students and instructors, as well as poetry and a one-act play.

Twenty-eight Valdosta High School students participated in the UB summer program, which included five weeks of academic study in the areas of science, language arts, math and foreign language, as well as college readiness workshops and SAT/ACT preparation classes. The students resided on VSU’s campus during the summer program and also participated in the UB Summer Olympics at Albany State University, where they won eight awards.

The summer program concludes with a trip to Greensboro, N.C. this week. During this trip, the students will tour Duke University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University.

“The students will also visit the International Civil Rights Museum, attend a minor league baseball game and a water park,” said UB Advisor Ryan Dixon. “It will be a busy trip, but it’s filled with fun and educational experiences for the students.”
UB Director Dondraie Seay stated that the trip serves as a way of rewarding the students for their hard work throughout the program.

“The recent graduates of the 2010-11 Upward Bound program got to travel to New York at the beginning of June,” Seay said. “We felt like they were more than deserving because they all met their deadlines for applying to colleges, maintained averages of B or higher and several of them were awarded scholarships. When you see self-driven, focused kids like them, you want to help them all the more to get where they want to be.”

During the New York trip, the students visited colleges and toured the Apollo Theater. They also went to a Broadway play, visited the American Museum of Natural History and went to the Today Show, where they were featured on Al Roker’s weather segment.
“The trip was really a bonding experience for us,” said Brandi Montgomery, a 2011 graduate of the UB program. “Most of us had never flown or visited New York. It also opened our eyes to all of the educational opportunities available for us.”

As a graduate of the UB program, Montgomery asserts that she is better prepared to begin. She will begin classes at VSU in the fall and plans to major in nursing.

“I’m positive that I am much more focused after participating in Upward Bound. It really helped enlighten me and keep me grounded during high school.”

The UB program, funded by a $1 million TRIO grant from the Department of Education, helps local college-bound students in ninth through 12th grade develop the skills and motivation necessary to succeed beyond high school.

Call the Office of Social Equity at 229-333-5463 for more information about this and other programs.