September 21, 2011
11-157

Malynda Dorsey
Communications Specialist

Upward Bound Kicks Off 2011 Fall Session

 

Valdosta State University’s Upward Bound program kicked off its Fall 2011 session Saturday, Sept. 17 in the University Center Cypress Room.

During the kickoff Valdosta High School (VHS) students who are participating in the Upward Bound program received information about various activities and events to be held throughout the fall session and heard presentations from VSU and VHS staff members. Upward Bound Director Dondraie Seay also expressed the need for additional sponsorship for the program from the community.

“After four years of success at VSU, we are approaching the end of our first grant cycle on Nov. 30,” Seay said. “Since the program’s implementation, we have had a 100 percent success rate, with all of our graduating seniors passing the high school graduation test as well as being accepting into and attending college. While grant funds help to make this program possible, we also need financial support from our community to offer some of the opportunities provided through the program.”

While addressing the students, Seay said, “You should all feel special because you are in this program for a reason, and you will be rewarded.”

VSU Interim President Louis Levy also challenged the students to set reasonable educational goals and create a plan to reach those goals. He assured the students that the VSU staff is committed to helping them achieve success.

Presenters during the event included Upward Bound Counselor Ryan Dixon, VHS Counselor Helen Jackson, VSU Associate Director of Admissions Ryan Hogan, VSU Director of Financial Aid Director Douglas Tanner and Anita Jackson from the Upward Bound parent advisory board. The keynote speaker was Dr. Lucretia Andrews, a three-time graduate of VSU and local marriage and family therapist.

Andrews told the students about the importance that education plays in developing a successful career and life. She provided the students with the following tips:

• Be organized.
• Get proper rest.
• Stay focused.
• Exercise regularly.
• Plan ahead.
• Take advantage of available resources and opportunities.

To the parents, she provided these tips:

• Make sure students have a good environment to study.
• Grant independence for students but follow up to make sure they stay on task.
• Give advice and suggestions.
• Make sure they develop a good practice schedule.
• Develop a good relationship with the students’ teachers.
• Talk to them about how school and education prepares them for the real world.

Andrews closed her address with a quote from Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”

Upward Bound is funded by a $1 million TRIO grant from the Department of Education and helps local college-bound students in ninth through 12th grade develop the skills and motivation necessary to succeed beyond high school. Participating Upward Bound students attend after-school study sessions and Saturday learning sessions with tutors and advisors. Students not only cover themes in math, science and literature, but also focus on preparation for the SAT, ACT and Georgia High School Graduation Test.

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