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.