photo of Upward Bound students

Upward Bound were able to see STOMP the Musical on April 2 and speaker, Ta-Nehisi Coates on April 3.

By Kelsey West, media intern, MSU Upward Bound Program

MSU Upward Bound is a program dedicated to providing underprivileged high school students in the Lansing area the necessary tools and connections to prepare for a college career. This spring, Upward Bound welcomes many excited high school students into their program.

“This is my first year with Upward Bound,” states freshman at Eastern High School, Angelina Garza, “I am super excited for all of the upcoming events, especially the summer events.”

What better way to welcome these new faces into the Upward Bound Program than to motivate and inspire them with various artistic and informational performances. Thanks to a scholarship established by the Wharton Center called Seats 4 Kids, the students of Upward Bound were able to see STOMP the Musical on April 2 and speaker, Ta-Nehisi Coates on April 3.

STOMP the Musical is a unique and interactive performance involving talented dancers who create music using only basic everyday items such as brooms, sinks, shopping carts, trashcans, mops, etc. Through this energetic performance, kids are able to learn that by using creativity and out of the box thinking, they can overcome obstacles by using what they have available to them. The students of Upward Bound loved the concept of STOMP and were grateful for the opportunity to see the exciting and inspirational production.

“Being a part of Upward Bound has been a privilege,” says Zachariah Hernandez, a high school student after the STOMP performance.

The day after the STOMP performance, Ta-Nehisi Coates came to speak in East Lansing. Ta-Nehisi Coates is an American writer and motivational speaker who visited the Wharton Center on April 3. He presented on the hopes of achieving racial harmony throughout the country. The students of Upward Bound attended this lecture, and were encouraged to think on the ideas and stories that were shared with them. The students were able to relate these concepts to their own experiences and create a path to help view race in a positive light.

With these two events under their belt, MSU Upward Bound has taken their students to activities and events that will help them pave their way into a successful college career. The students enjoyed the performance and lecture, and hope to apply what they learned to their future goals.