Director's Note: Addie and Arian are two of our highest-performing Upward Bound students. They are ambitious, thoughtful, kind, persistent and exceptionally hard-working. If you have a few dollars to spare, please consider donating to their fundraiser at the links below. The girls wrote an excellent fundraising request letter with details of their request. Addie and Arian told me that anything earned over their stated goal will go towards any unexpected travel costs or their service project in Colombia.
Written by: Addie Davis and Arian Storms
Addie's fundraising page
Arian's fundraising page
Hola! We are two students that were picked for an amazing opportunity to travel to Colombia. Our names are Addie Davis and Arian Storms. We are from Muncie Central High School and have excelled in Spanish for almost 3 years. Not only have we become skilled in Spanish, we are very driven and strive to learn everything we can about the geography and culture of Spanish-speaking countries like Colombia. Our academic achievement is exceedingly high as we are taking Honors, college-based, and AP classes. We are in a number of activities and make a huge effort to be involved in a lot. We love just about everything about Spanish. This includes being able to talk to others, reading Spanish stories, and listening to people speak in Spanish. Although we are young, Spanish has been our passion since we learned to say hi. We hope nothing more than to learn as much as we possibly can.
We have been given a great opportunity from our Spanish teacher to join her in her travels to Colombia. We were chosen because of all the amazing attributes we possess and for our love of Spanish. The city we will be traveling to is Bucaramanga, Santander and we will be staying for a total of four weeks. Not only will we be learning about the culture and advancing our speaking in Spanish, but we are volunteering at a charitable foundation called Goals for Peace. Here, we will help out by giving English classes, sports training, help with arts and crafts workshops and helping with homework assistance. We believe that volunteering is a great way to have a positive impact on the people and places that you pass on your travels. The one thing that would help us achieve this dream would be money. Both of us come from low-income families, it is hard for driven students like us to pursue international learning opportunities when we do not have access to the monetary support that many of our wealthier peers have. It is very expensive to travel such a long way to such an amazing city and we need all the help we can get. We want the best out of our trip and want to experience many things. Any donation, large or small, will help us get one step closer to Colombia and to achieving this goal. Espero que puedas ayudar! (hope that you can help).
Introducing "Student Spotlight," a new blog series highlighting the efforts and experiences of Upward Bound students.
Director's Note: Cassie is an amazing student and a wonderful member of the Upward Bound family. When she joined our program last summer, she was looking for people she could connect with and struggling to find her voice. Within a day she had met her new best friends. Within a week she was raising her hand, jumping in to participate in activities that might have scared her in the past, and even taking the lead on some projects/activities.
Cassie's determination to grow as an individual is something I cherish about her. I also appreciate how kind and understanding she is of others. Finally, I love her graciousness and honesty. On our first day of the Summer Academy, as we took a long bus ride to the Blue Spring Caverns in Southern, Indiana, Cassie leaned forward in her bus seat and whispered to me, "I can't believe I get to go on this trip. I've never been this far from home before. Or stayed in a nice hotel. Thank you!" She made a point to express her appreciation for every trip we took that summer. Occasionally when workshops ran long, buses were late, or classes were difficult, we would hear moaning and complaining --but almost never from Cassie. She always seems happy to be here, ready to learn, and excited for what's next. Cassie has cherished and taken advantage of every opportunity given to her, and her positive attitude, work ethic, and growing leadership skills will take her far. Thanks for being part of the Upward Bound family, Cassie.
Name: Cassandra "Steve" Lombardi
Favorite MCHS class: Geometry
Favorite Upward Bound summer class: Math, American Sign Language, Speech, and Film
Ideal Career: Being a chef or a veterinarian.
What do you love about Upward Bound? I love that all of us are like a family. We have so many activities where we can learn more about each other.
Tell me about that. How is Upward Bound a family? Where do I start? They are like the best friends that I've always wanted and they’ve made me the person I am today.
How has Upward Bound impacted you? It has changed me by making me less shy. Instead, I'm kind of loud now. I can be myself around them and not be uncomfortable.
What's your favorite memory from Upward Bound? My favorite memory is going on the Tennessee trip with everyone. I remember that I went line dancing with my friends and went shopping at the farmer's market.
Tell me about a staff member who made a big impact on you. Well, its basically all the staff members, but especially Ms. Casey. She is so free. She does what ever she wants to do and is so funny. My classes were so fun. They never made it boring and they always made me laugh.
Congratulations to Jayonna Taylor, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Muncie Youth of the Year! Jayonna is a sophomore at Muncie Central, a member of the Upward Bound program, the president of the BGCM Keystone program, and a wonderful young woman. Tonight in her acceptance speech she spoke about how her mentor, Miss Gabbi, helps inspire her to work harder and gives her the tough love she needs.
Upward Bound's connection to the Boys and Girls Club is strong. Both Miss Gabbi and Mr. Duane (our Project Coordinator and College Coach, respectively) work part-time at the Boys and Girls Club of Muncie. Further, the Boys and Girls Club was essential to helping us recruit new students during our first project year. This spirit of cooperation and collaboration has lead us to develop a more substantial partnership over time -- stay tuned for details on how the Boys and Girls Club and Upward Bound working together will positively impact Muncie students like Jayonna.
In the meantime, congratulations Jayonna! We are so proud of you!