Michael Muse, a member of the 1996 MSU Upward Bound Program graduating class, was one of seven individuals from across the country to receive a 2014 National TRIO Achievers’ Award on Sept. 9, 2014 at the 33rd Annual Council for Opportunity in Education Conference in Washington, D.C.The National TRIO Achievers’ Award was created to celebrate the success of TRIO students and the TRIO programs across the United States. The men and women recognized by these awards have distinguished themselves and are making remarkable contributions in their chosen professions. These awards allow for public recognition of former TRIO program participants to congratulate them on their accomplishments and acknowledge that TRIO makes a difference in the lives of thousands of students whose future success depends upon their access to higher education.
Muse, a former industrial engineer and current co-founder of Muse Recordings, completed the MSU Upward Bound program in 1996 and was accepted to attend the University of Michigan.“Being a first-generation African American college student, as far as my family knew, the acceptance letter was all that we knew to achieve, not understanding the value of a visit to the campus,” Muse said. “But, Sandra Firestone, MSU Upward Bound program coordinator, knew the visit was very important and within a day or so drove me and another Upward Bound student to the University of Michigan campus.”
Firestone proceeded to show Muse around one of the dorms as well as making an unscheduled visit to the Minority Engineering Program Office.“Upon arriving at the Minority Engineering Program Office, without an appointment, she asked to speak with the director of the program, Derrick E. Scott,” Muse said. “I was shocked when he agreed to meet with us. While on campus, Derrick invested in my success by connecting me with great internships, advisement, and inviting me to participate in a summer engineering enrichment program before the start of my freshman year. To this day Derrick and his wife play an important role in my life as we examine ways to increase and retain minority students in the area of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) at the University of Michigan. None of the accomplishments I made at U of M and beyond would have been possible without the help I received from Sandra. I will never forget the value she placed on me that day – it made a huge difference.”
Muse credits the time he spent in MSU’s Upward Bound program with helping him realize that college wasn’t an option but instead a natural extension, as it allowed him to form leadership skills and independence while receiving guidance on how to bring out the best in himself.One of the highlights of Muse’s current leadership activities is his involvement with President Barack Obama. He served as a member of President Obama’s National Finance Committee; becoming one of the youngest persons in America to raise over $1 million dollars for any American President in one year. Additionally, Muse is as a member of the National Finance Committee and National Advisory Board for the Democratic National Committee as well as being actively involved in the White House’s NSTC Committee on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education.
Upward Bound is one of the federal TRIO Programs and it provides fundamental support to participants in their preparation for college entrance. The program provides opportunities for participants to succeed in their precollege performance and ultimately in their higher education pursuits. Upward Bound serves high school students from low-income families as well as high school students from families in which neither parent holds a bachelor's degree. The goal of Upward Bound is to increase the rate at which participants complete secondary education and enroll in and graduate from institutions of postsecondary education.For more information about MSU’s Upward Bound Program visit the MSU Upward Bound website. For more information about Michael Muse, visit his website.