March 5, 2024
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Upward Bound prepares local high school students for higher education

Students in the Upward Bound (UB) summer program, including Molly Barnes, right, and members of the New York State University Police participate in UB Olympics, a series of events which was held at the East Gym on Aug. 4, 2022. Students in the Upward Bound (UB) summer program, including Molly Barnes, right, and members of the New York State University Police participate in UB Olympics, a series of events which was held at the East Gym on Aug. 4, 2022.
Students in the Upward Bound (UB) summer program, including Molly Barnes, right, and members of the New York State University Police participate in UB Olympics, a series of events which was held at the East Gym on Aug. 4, 2022. Image Credit: Jonathan Cohen.

“Upward Bound has taught me to always ask questions in classes and to be more outspoken. The program has also helped me gain a better perspective on others, that mental illness does not define you and that I can be more open with people. Upward Bound has helped me feel more confident about going to college. This program has offered me many opportunities to go on college visits, take college courses and explained the experiences and expectations of the college setting. I don’t think the culture shock will be as intense. I am more excited than nervous to pursue higher education. I made great connections during the summer program too.”

– Molly Barnes

Throughout my time at Upward Bound, the program has offered up many opportunities to me as a student to aid me in my journey through high school and college prep. Before Upward Bound, I was sure that I would struggle immensely in my college search and getting prepared to enter college. However, thanks to the program, I received financial aid for college applications, SAT applications, FAFSA support, as well as pointers on places to apply depending on my interests. The summer program was even better as I got a chance to live in a college dorm for a month allowing me to acclimate to the environment, as well as become more independent. It was also very enjoyable meeting students who were in the same place as I was financially. Overall, Upward Bound is an incredibly fulfilling and helpful program for students, offering them a large amount of opportunities and aid to assist them academically and emotionally.

– Aurora Bausenwein

“I’m the first-born American citizen on my mom’s side of the family so I have high expectations for myself. I want my family’s legacy to live on and to influence others.

This program has definitely pushed me to be hardworking. I worked hard to raise my GPA to participate in Upward Bound. Then, during the summer, when I could easily hangout with friends, I would put my school work first which was something I wouldn’t do in the past. There are times where I just wanted to give up but I pushed myself to get my work done. Putting the work into my summer classes shows how much I’ve grown. I hope this growth will have an impact on my little brother. I have also made so many great friends while being here, and loved the memories I’ve made.

Carlos Gonzalez

“Upward Bound has helped me understand that going to college shouldn’t be to please others. I should attend college because I want to. The program helped me figure out the real reason why I want to go.

I learned opening up to people is a step to getting better. There are so many resources that will help people get to where they need to be. When participating in the Residential Summer Program, my student mentors were so kind and helpful. They helped me realize how to be myself and not care what others think. I made more friends at UB than middle and freshman year of high school combined. I now know I can open up to people and that there are people that aren’t going to use you.”

Xenia Johnson

“Upward Bound is a part of my story. It has helped me in so many ways. It’s such a nice community. Everyone is like one big family. They have taught me how important college is and how easy it is to apply. I also learned to open up to people and I have made some really great friends. I have been to some really cool places with Upward Bound; I went to Albany to advocate for Upward Bound. I’m sad to be graduating from the program. I hope younger generations learn skills of accountability and adaptability from the program like I did and keep going. I learned that I can do everything I set my mind to — I can make new friends, people care for me, I’m not alone, and I actually enjoy different things. I shouldn’t be afraid of trying new things and opening up to people. And I can trust some of them.”

Angelique Talbot

“Being in Upward Bound has helped me in so many ways. I am more open to meeting new people and to ask more questions in class if I need help. They have helped me get ready for college by going on college visits and completing FAFSA and TAP. If I didn’t have Upward Bound I probably wouldn’t have known about how to complete my financial aid applications. Some of my favorite memories from Upward Bound were the student council presidential election and our trip to Albany. In Albany we got to meet Donna Lupardo and visit colleges. I hope future students learn how to be more open, social and be on time. Don’t forget to get advice from your counselor.”

Crystianna Talbot

“​Being a part of Upward Bound has significantly benefited my grades and overall academic performance since joining. Not only does taking the classes that they offer throughout the summertime make the transition back into schooling easier, but it also gives me a head start on the difficult topics that I will take during the school year. Upward Bound also offers free tutoring services for students who might be struggling with their courses or would like to review for a Regents test. This preparation and support helps get me prepared and excited about my future going to college.

Not only do they offer outstanding opportunities regarding academics, but the program also provides the opportunity to meet kids from other schools who have similar career interests or just interests in general. This helps expand my social life and learn new people and things I never knew! My favorite memory of Upward Bound this summer has to be staying on campus for 6 weeks; having a set routine for schoolwork and also socializing really helped me live my summer to the fullest. The trips and activities were fun but just being around a bunch of energetic and positive people everyday made my summer the best one ever.

I’ve learned lots from Upward Bound, like small things such as details about the college application process to big things like different cultures and lifestyles. I originally knew nothing about these things before this program. Upward Bound has not only prepared me for college but prepared me for life. Upward Bound gives students the chance to get endless information and support concerning college, but also gives them experience working with a diverse set of people.”

Ashlee Whritenhour

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