Upward Bound graduating students

Upward Bound, a university and community funded program that assists high-achieving students from disadvantaged backgrounds with college preparation, recognized 33 students this month at their 2019 Senior Recognition Gala.

Upward Bound, a university and community funded program that assists high-achieving students from disadvantaged backgrounds with college preparation, recognized 33 students this month at their 2019 Senior Recognition Gala. These scholars are students at Eastern, Everett, and J.W. Sexton High Schools, all participating schools within the program.

Joining Upward Bound in the fall of 2017, Dr. Stephanie Anthony, Director and Program Coordinator, and her team have helped Upward Bound increase enrollment from 91 to 125 students, while also creating a senior-intensive track. “Make excellence your calling card is what I would say,” shares Dr. Anthony. “Many of my students have had some unique challenges, but they still manage to be fantastic young people.” Upward Bound lost its federal funding during the spring of 2017 but MSU stepped in and helped cover some of the program costs shortly after. 

Alonna Gomez, a graduating senior who will be attending Lansing Community College before transferring to MSU, wants Upward Bound scholars coming after her to not take any opportunities lightly. “One thing that I’ve learned is to never miss the opportunities that are given,” Gomez said. “It was great to be a part of something that was bigger than us.” Gomez will study Communication Arts & Sciences at Lansing Community College. 

Monta Williams, a graduating senior heading to Hampton University to study aviation, didn’t expect to form such close bonds with his fellow Upward Bound scholars. “As I spent more time in Upward Bound, participating in group activities, I made very close bonds with the other students, which I was not expecting,” Williams said. “When you go off to college, go to class with an ambitious mindset and remember that you cannot get time wasted, back.”

 The recognition gala featured both a keynote speaker, Dr. Bobby Grossi of Grossi Dental and Wellness, and several words of acknowledgement and encouragement by Upward Bound scholars.