photo of Tyrell Warren-Burnett

Upward Bound definitely gave me the necessary tools to be successful.

Upward Bound Profile Piece
Tyrell Warren-Burnett
Lansing Everett High School, Lansing, MI – Class of 2002

I believe that the TRIO programs, including Upward Bound, have been essential at not only providing access to underrepresented students, but also giving them the necessary resources needed in order to succeed.  Upward Bound definitely increased my academic readiness for college, which played a very important part in me not only getting to college but eventually graduating as well.

I always tell people that Upward Bound was a critical part in getting me to where I am today in my career.  Upward Bound definitely gave me the necessary tools to be successful.  While in Upward Bound, I was exposed to many different things that I might not have been exposed to otherwise.  I believe the program not only gave me the tools to succeed, but also instilled in me the confidence to go to college, graduate and be successful.  Upward Bound helped prepare me for college by giving me an overall understanding of what to expect from college.


Some of my favorite memories from Upward Bound include trips we took to Chicago, Atlanta and New York.  I think the one that hit home the most for me was the trip to New York.  It seems surreal that we were in New York a month before the 9/11 terrorist attacks happened.  It really made me cherish the memories now that I look back on it.

Upward Bound has definitely helped me in my career.  After graduating from college, I always felt that I could go back and discuss anything with the Upward Bound staff.  They have always been there to give me advice on what direction to take in my career when I needed it.  They have always been there to lend a helping hand to all of their former students over the years.  I just hope I am able to pay it forward to a program that has meant so much to me personally.

I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Retailing from MSU and I currently work as the Director of Development for Annual Giving at the Washington State University Foundation in Pullman, Washington.  In this position, I oversee the annual giving department.  I help facilitate the annual multi-channel fundraising for the various constituencies that include both academic and non-academic units.  I really like what I do because I help raise private support for the university, which is very important.

I was lucky enough to experience Upward Bound as both a student in high school and as a staff member when I worked as a student counselor for two summers.  I encourage Upward Bound students to take advantage of all the resources and programming that the program has to offer.  Looking back, I didn’t realize the impact the Upward Bound program would have on my life.  The staff at Upward Bound only want the best from you and they will work hard to bring out that potential in you.