Director's Note: Jade is somewhat new to Upward Bound, joining late last fall, but in that short time I've grown to appreciate her perseverance, honesty, and thoughtfulness.
Jade entered this program with the goal of improving her academics. Sometimes when students do that, they expect that we will magically make them into better students and show them the way, but the truth is that nothing we can do will make a real difference if the student doesn't want change for themselves. Jade wanted it. She used the resources and support Upward Bound gave her to build upon the change she was already creating for herself. Her grades have risen significantly since joining our program, and that's due to her own focus, commitment, and work ethic.
Jade is someone that I admire, and I think that her dedication and commitment to change should serve as an example for other Upward Bound students. Change comes from within, and Jade shows us that every day.
Name: Jade Grimes
Favorite MCHS Classes: World History, English
Least Favorite MCHS Classes: Math, Biology
Favorite Upward Bound Workshop: Programming Your Future, where we got to try out a bunch of different tech.
Favorite Field Trip: Programming in Pajamas, the overnight competition.
Why did you join Upward Bound? I joined Upward Bound to better myself, keep my grades up, and get ready for college.
How have your grades changed since joining Upward Bound? I had 2-3 F's and a D when I joined. My GPA was a 1.3. I didn't want to fail anymore. I wanted to succeed, so I started putting in the work. UB keeps me on task and gives me activities to do after school. Now I have all A's, B's, and C's (with just one lower grade I'm working on).
Why should someone join Upward Bound? Upward Bound is like a family. It's more people you can talk to. People that want to help you.
What staff member(s) are you closest to? Ms. Rebecca
What are your goals for the future? I want to go to college. Maybe Ball State. I think I'd like to do fashion or nursing.
Director's Note: Samara never fails to make me smile with her pointed questions, raised eyebrows, and strong opinions. School is sometimes challenging for her, but in the last year I've seen her strength, determination, and focus grow. I have watched as she's taken on challenges that might have overwhelmed her in the past. I hope she continues to thrive and take her academics seriously, and I know that she is capable of great things.
Samara has a great support system to help her. At home, she has fiercely devoted and wise parents who do everything they can to help her make good decisions. At school, she has Upward Bound - pushing her, supporting her, and giving her tough love when necessary. If she continues to take advantage of her support system, hold high expectations for herself, and put in the work, I know that she can graduate, go to college, and build a beautiful future for herself.
Name: Samara Whitley
Favorite MCHS Classes: English, Earth Science, Health
Least Favorite MCHS Classes: Math, Study Hall
Favorite Upward Bound Trip: Nashville
How have your grades and study habits improved since joining Upward Bound?
Right now, I have all A's, B's, and C's. I always try to get good grades, but usually I have at least one D or F, sometimes more. This semester I'm doing a lot better. I'm really taking time with my homework, focusing, and turning it in on time.
I've always struggled with math, and I still do, but now I'm taking my time. I don't rush.
What have the Upward Bound staff done to help get you there?
They shadowed me for a whole day of classes. Ms. Gabbi spent the day following me to my classes and asking my teachers how I was doing.
Do you feel like the Upward Bound staff care about you?
The staff do care about us. They ask every day about our grades, our classes, if we're turning things in on time, if we're focusing... They want to know how we're doing at home and at school. They want to know if we're okay.
What are your goals for the future?
I want to keep my grades up. I want to go to Ball State, Purdue, or Ivy Tech. I think I'd like cosmetology or maybe to do something in health or medicine.
What would you say to someone thinking about joining Upward Bound?
Upward Bound helps you. If you ask for help, they help you through it.
On Saturday, 2/23 at the Innovation Connector, Upward Bound held an overnight competition called “Programming in Pajamas: Up All Night with Upward Bound.” During this 16-hour overnight competition, 40 students competed in teams of 5-6 to complete the highest number of tasks in the time given. The tasks included Khan Academy math challenges, Hour of Code coding challenges, Shafer Leadership Academy team challenges, and a variety of MPL Digital Climbers challenges using logic games like Gravity Maze, Cat Crimes, and more.
Together our teams completed 301 challenges and our winning team finished 62 challenges. The winners (Red Team) took home $50 each, donated by the Ivy Tech Foundation, and our runner-ups (Purple Team) received a variety of $25 gift cards donated by Ontario Systems. Our partners for the event include the Innovation Connector, the Coding Connector, the Ivy Tech Foundation, Muncie Public Library, Shafer Leadership Academy, Ball State’s Center for Information and Communication Sciences, and Ontario Systems.
Throughout the night, we enjoyed drop-in performances by a variety of Ball State fraternities and sororities, many of whose members regularly volunteer as tutor-mentors in the Upward Bound program (Zeta Phi Beta, Phi Beta Sigma, Alpha Kappa Alpha, and Kappa Alpha Psi). The fraternities and sororities stepped, chanted, and strolled for our kids and showed them a fun and exciting aspect of college life they might not be familiar with. We also kept things fun and exciting by peppering the evening with karaoke contests, a blind energy-drink taste-test, a trivia game, and more!
Name: Khaleigha Evans
Favorite MCHS class: Math, Econ.
Least Favorite MCHS class: English
Favorite UB Field Trip: IUPUI Research Day
Favorite Summer Workshop: Networking and Mock Interviews
Ideal Career: Social work, perhaps.
Why should someone join Upward Bound? If you're determined to go to college, and you meet the requirements, you should join to help further your education. You may think you're the only one struggling to get to college, but Upward Bound showed me that me and my family were not alone. Other people are experiencing it, too, and now we have people to talk to about it.
How has Upward Bound helped you? UB has taught me to speak up. I feel like since I'm one of the oldest in the program, I have to take on a leadership role.
It's getting me ready for college in ways that regular school can't. My grades have improved since joining UB. I've always been a good student, but now I'm even better.
Tell me about an Upward Bound workshop that stuck with you. The networking workshop and interview workshop during the summer. I met the CEO of the Boys and Girls Club (Jason Newman). I'll always remember him teaching me how to talk about myself and sell myself. He told me he had to drag information out of me and that no one could tell him my story but me. I remember that.
How do the Upward Bound staff show you that they care? They check in on me and expect me to take ownership and responsibility for my work. Miss KeAyra is always asking me if I got something done, then she says, "Come on, Khaleigha! You know in college they don't check in on you. It's YOUR grade, not mine." She gives me tough love.
Where are you planning to go to college? I've been accepted to Harris-Stowe in St. Louis, Missouri. It's an HBCU (historically black colleges and universities). I think I might major in social work.
instructor & intern positions
Upward Bound is now hiring instructors and interns for summer 2019. Students will take classes between June 10 and July 12 (5 weeks). Instructors will be hired for a 7-week period starting June 3, and interns will be hired for either 6 or 7 weeks, depending on position and need.
Instructor job descriptions can be found below. Those interested in applying should email resume and cover letter to Director Rebecca Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summer Math Instructor
Summer English/Composition Instructor
Summer Physics Instructor (Project-Based Learning)
Internships will be posted on Cardinal Career Link and are open to Ball State students. These are paid internships at the rate of $10/hr.
The two job titles are "Upward Bound Educational Experiences Intern" and "Upward Bound Social Media and Digital Storytelling Intern." A resume and cover letter are required for all applicants, and they will be contacted via email to set up interviews should they be deemed potential candidates.