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.
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!
General Travel Rules:
If you didn't turn in the permission slip on time, you don't get to go.
Students will be on time and prepared to leave at the time of departure.
Students will follow the instructions of UB staff at all times and will be respectful to our tour guides and attentive to anyone addressing the UB group.
Upward Bound is NOT responsible for student valuables. Students must keep track of their own items and guard themselves as best they can against theft or loss.
As representatives of the Upward Bound program, participants will adhere to our program’s values and expectations at all times. UB students are not cruel to each other and do not try to hurt or exclude each other. We are a family.
At the end of each day, students will check the bus for trash or messes left behind and clean them up.
Dishonesty (stealing, lying, etc.) will not be tolerated. Participants will treat others, as well as property, with respect. This includes property of the places we visit, the hotel, other guests, staff, and peers. Destruction of property will be the responsibility of the offending party and his/her family.
Students must keep track of time and meet up with the group ON TIME whenever they are allowed to do things on their own or in small groups.
There will be no members of the opposite sex in any participants’ room AT ANY TIME.
Students in same-sex relationships may not room with someone they are dating.
There will be an announced curfew, and from that time until the announced time the next morning, students will be expected to stay in their assigned room.
Students found outside their room after curfew for ANY reason other than a medical emergency will have their parents called immediately and have ALL privileges revoked for the remainder of the trip.
Students may not leave the hotel without UB staff permission/supervision.
Students may not charge anything to the room — including movies, games, room service, or long distance phone calls. We will speak to hotel staff to have these options removed if possible.
Students will display appropriate behavior while visiting any hotel. Appropriate hotel behavior includes:
No running in the hallways.
No loud noises, yelling, or loud talking in the hallways and bedrooms, especially when people are trying to sleep.
Student may congregate in two areas only, in the lobby or recreational facilities (like the pool and gym), and only before curfew. Students can’t hang out in others’ rooms. When hanging out in common areas, students must be respectful of guests and staff.
Treat the hotel staff, including the maids, with respect. Do not leave disgusting messes in your room.