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.