The Upward Bound program at Northwest Missouri State University has helped hundreds of students realize their goals of attending college and achieving success over the last 27 years. Last week, 11 more students celebrated their graduation from the program.
The students made their way July 2 to the third floor of the Administration Building, expecting a photo opportunity. Instead, faculty members, family and friends were waiting with candles, music and congratulations for a surprise graduation ceremony. The graduation ceremony was the first of its kind in Upward Bound’s history.
Phil Kenkel, the founder of Northwest’s Upward Bound program and director of the University’s TriO programs, addressed the students and guests.
Five of the 11 graduates will continue their college education at Northwest.
“Upward Bound emphasized financial responsibility,” Upward Bound graduate Ellice Mitchell, of Maryville, said. “It helped me realize my priorities like time management, study habits and discipline.”
Upward Bound, a federally funded education program created by the Higher Education Act of 1965, got its start at Northwest in 1987. The program annually serves 70 high school students from eight high schools in northwest Missouri: King City, Maryville, Nodaway-Holt, Northeast Nodaway, Rock Port, Stanberry, Tarkio and West Nodaway. Open to students who have completed their freshman year of high school up to recent high school graduates, Upward Bound is designed to help them build self-confidence while preparing them for the academic, social and cultural challenges of college life.
During the school year, Upward Bound students gather on the Northwest campus once a month to participate in workshops, college visits and other learning opportunities. A field tutor also meets with students weekly at their home school.
For more information about the Upward Bound program at Northwest go towww.nwmissouri.edu/dept/upwardbound/.
Graduating members of Upward Bound and their college plans are as follows:
·Nick Collins, of Maryville, plans to major in computer science and attend Northwest.
·Ashley Farnsworth, of Stanberry, plans to major in business and attend Metro Community College in Omaha, Neb.
·Katrina Freemyer, of Northeast Nodaway, plans to major in elementary education and attend North Central Missouri College in Trenton.
·Korbin Jones, of West Nodaway, plans to major in media studies and attend Northwest.
·Trevor Luke, of Stanberry, plans to major in pre-med and attend the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
· Philip Merriett, of Tarkio, plans to major in psychology and attend Northwest.
· Ellice Mitchell, of Maryville, plans to major in history and attend Northwest.
· Tanner Rickabaugh, of Maryville, plans to major in computer science and attend Northwest.
· Zuri Vang, of King City, plans to major in nursing and attend Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph.
Page 2 of 2 - · Jessica Wilmes, of Stanberry, plans to major in radiology and attend Maple Woods Community College in Kansas City, Mo.
· Laci Wooten, of Tarkio, plans to major in Bio-Engineering (Honors Program) and attend the University of Missouri-Kansas City.