Upward Bound Ivy Blog:
Here you'll find student spotlights and program updates!
Isabellia is a senior at Muncie Central and joined Upward Bound at the beginning of 2020. Aside from gardening, karate, and diving, she has a unique hobby of taxidermy.
Isabellia became interested in taxidermy because she was curious about the anatomy of living things. She taught herself, with the help of Youtube, to learn how to become a taxidermist. Although she first found interest as a freshman, she became more serious about the hobby during the pandemic. This unusual craft has led Isabellia to realize her passion and career interests.
She plans to attend Indiana State University majoring in Biology with a specialization in Medical Laboratory Science. Her career goal is to become an elected Coroner. Isabellia says she appreciates Upward Bound because it "allows space and a room dedicated to getting your work done."
1. Find your passion
Find what you gravitate towards the most in life, consider why you like doing it, what you are talented in, and think about if you want to have a career in it. If you have a passion for what you do, you are more likely to be fulfilled in your professional life.
2. Think about colleges when picking your major
Some colleges may not have your anticipated major, so you may want to do research on the schools you are interested in. Some colleges are known to excel in certain majors and really prepare you for your career. You should also look up the percentage of students that graduate from a college with your anticipated major and the job placement rate.
3. Carefully consider career advice
People close to you, such as family members, may try to decide or persuade your career path decision because they believe you will be good at it. However, it’s up to you to choose your path because you know yourself best.
4. Declare a major on college applications
Declaring a major before coming into college could help you as an applicant figure out where you would fit best at the college. If you’re not sure about which major to pick, you can apply as “undecided” and take your core classes before you decide on a major. Take different electives to get a feel for different majors. You can choose a major that you feel best fits you as you can always change your major while in college.
5. Know how far your major will take you at the undergraduate level
For many majors, a bachelor’s degree is all you may need to get into your career. However, there are careers that may require getting a higher degree such as a master or a doctorate. Some careers may also require you to obtain additional certifications in order to enter the field.
6. Weigh a STEM discipline
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are very promising majors but are not for everyone. You will need to have strong math skills, be analytical, and have problem-solving skills. STEM careers are expected to grow and have great job security.
7. Pair a major with a useful minor
Minors are used to well-round your education and help provide a focus on what you want to do after college. It can also reinforce skills across disciplines and prepare students to work in more than one industry.
8. Calculate possible salaries
If you want to make a certain amount of money when you get into your career, then you should consider what your average salary could be when you graduate college. You may need to pay off student loans, along with your typical life expenses. Consider what type of life-style you want to live and how the average salary of your career compares.
After last year’s summer needing to be transitioned into a virtual program, we were so excited to host Summer Fest on Ivy Tech’s campus this year. While everything was not completely back to normal, and we did have to mask up, take extra safety precautions, and cancel our out of state Merit Trip, we were still able to travel and explore different parts of Indiana and spend time with each other!
With so many new recruits joining the Upward Bound family at the end of the 2020-2021 academic year, this summer allowed our students to get to know each other and bring that bond into the upcoming school year. With many team building activities, friendly competitions, long bus trips, and six weeks together, many connections and friendships were built.
Through this program, Upward Bound was also able to create and expand partnerships with Pink Leaf, Ball State University Admissions and School Counseling Program, Ivy Tech Community College Admissions, and TechWise who all offered great information to our students! Our students have gained skills and important knowledge that they will carry with them into their futures.
Students also were able to experience different cultural enrichment opportunities locally and around the state, such as visiting Urban Air Trampoline Park, Hunter’s Honey Farm, Indiana Beach, Indianapolis Zoo, a live performance from Mind Tripping Show and shopping at the Circle Centre Mall. We also toured a variety of colleges including Bethel University, IU Bloomington, and Anderson University, where a lot of our new participants got their first experiences with college tours.
Of course, nothing happens without great leadership and participation from our students! We are so appreciative of our summer teachers, interns, and students as they all had great enthusiasm, adaptability, and patience.
We look forward to making next Summer Fest even better!
Students, you’ve probably spent some time thinking about scholarship applications. Although there are several scholarships available during the first semester of your senior year (and you should definitely apply for those if you aren’t already doing so), most scholarships will be due spring semester, with peak times being March-April. With that in mind, fall semester is a great time to do some scholarship prep so that you will be in a good position to apply for the best scholarships. Here are some application components that you can prepare in advance.
Scholarship essays should be tailored to each individual application, but luckily many applications have similar essay prompts. If you come up with ideas for essays now, it will save you time down the road.
Some common essay prompts include:
Letters of Recommendation
Now is the perfect time to recruit people to write recommendations for you. If you have a pool of potential recommenders ready, you won’t have to find someone last-minute. Choose adults who know you well, who are interested in your future success, and who you can trust to produce a quality letter on a deadline. And remember, no family members!
Ideas of Who to Ask for a Recommendation:
Scholarship applications will require
information about academics. To prepare
yourself for scholarship applications, follow
Financial need is a component of several applications. If you are asked to provide information about finances, you will likely need information from your family’s most recent tax return and/or data from your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Scholarships can be time-consuming, but a little preparation in advance can go a long way. Now get out there and start applying!
We have complied a multiple lists of scholarship that can be found here ().
We have to highlight one of our amazing students, Addie Davis! Addie is a senior this year at Muncie Central High. You would be surprised that Addie used to wrestle in middle school and she loves to weight lift. In her free time, you can catch church or the gym—working out makes Addie feel strong and it has been a great addition to her self-care journey and mental health and as for the church, she needs it to survive.
Addie’s greatest accomplishment has been being a nominee for the 2020 Youth Salute Leader. She shared, “not just anyone gets this award and it was amazing to be recognized for my hard work and character in school.”
As for Addie’s goals after high school, she simply wants to achieve at a higher level. She plans to attend college and master in whatever she chooses to study. Addie has not made a decision on a University or major yet but she has faith that God will guide her in those choices.
Advice from Addie:
“We only get one life and I truly want to live it to the fullest. I am just taking it one step and one day at a time to get there.”
Keep your mind focused on where you are headed. Don’t get caught up in friends that don’t do you any good or not really applying yourself to your work. High school matters and you have to work hard to see experience greater after-effects.
We have to highlight one of our amazing and engaged students, Trey Michael Matthews! Trey is a senior this year at Muncie Central High School where he is apart of GEAR Up, the National Honor Society, and Upward Bound. He helps out the community by volunteering his time, such as working concessions and tickets at basketball games, as well as tutoring younger students who need the extra help.
During Trey's free time he enjoys making music, animating, and drawing. His greatest accomplishment to date was being inducted into the National Honor Society. Trey aspires to live the best life he can. His advice for his peers is to “stay on top of your work.” Trey shared, “doing well academically can provide an abundance of opportunities in the future” giving him the boost he needs to sustain himself and live a nice life. Post-graduation, Trey has plans to enroll in Ball State University where he will pursue a degree in Spanish education in addition to becoming a dental assistant.
Standardized testing season, for Juniors especially, is upon us! Let's work together to make sure that you are well prepared.
The SAT and the ACT are the standardized tests used by institutions to decide on students being admitted. Though they serve the same purpose, there are some differences worth considering before signing up. One of the most noteworthy differences is that the SAT allows more time per question. This makes it a great option for those who need more time for comprehension of questions. The ACT is best suited for students with reading and writing comprehension skills since it has more reading questions and less time per question. Noteworthy similarities are the times that they should be taken, the spring of students junior (11th) year. This will time for students to retake their test if need be and/or to have enough time to submit their results to their selected institutions.
It is important to mention that more institutions are moving towards being test-optional. What does this mean? It means that students are not required to send in their SAT and /or ACT scores to institutions with this policy. However, it does not mean that the scores are no longer important. Institutions will take a harder look at the other information submitted to the admissions board (extracurricular actives, recommendations, essays, and academic profile). So students should make sure that this information is a reflection of the type of student they would like to present themselves as. The test-optional alternative could give some the impression that they no longer have to take the ACT or the SAT, but These tests could be beneficial for those with above-average scores as they would speak positively on the student.
Admissions into institutions will remain competitive so for those who take the SAT and/or the ACT, here are some helpful tips:
1. Before taking the test one should practice pacing. While preparing students should take a practice exam with the same time constraints so they are prepared to spend a certain amount of time on each question. This will help students to answer all the questions on their exams.
2. Students should be skilled in answer elimination. They should be able to read through the options provided and know which ones are not correct. This will make finding the real answer easier.
3. Selective reading is another skill students should have before they take their exams. Being able to only read relevant information will save time for exams.
All of these skills should be practiced while students study for their exams. Considering that the best time to take these exams is the spring of the junior year, Students should begin studying and perfecting these skills ASAP. The length and the depth of studying should increase the closer one gets to their junior year. This will ensure that the students are properly prepared for not only standardized tests but the quizzes and exams they take on a regular basis at school.
She is able to persist in the task at hand, even if something slightly more interesting is going on with her friends.
While taking her grades seriously, Emilia also makes time for things that she really enjoys such as the performing arts and healthy friendships. Before joining Upward Bound, she took her academics seriously. However, after joining this program, Emilia learned that Upward Bound pushes you towards academic success and nurturing friendships.
Emilia’s desire for academic greatness is reflected in her grades and her desire for close friendships is reflected in the bonds that she has made within Upward Bound. She has the ability to balance her passion for the arts, friendships, and her academics. I see her as an influential student for others in Upward Bound.
Favorite Class at MCHS: English.
Least Favorite Class at MCHS:
Why did you join Upward Bound? My mom heard about it and she wanted my sister and I to join for school help and college prep. I also knew people who were already in Upward Bound and they said I should join.
Favorite Upward Bound field trip: Washington and Chicago! Washington was fun because of the trip to the Virginia Beach and being with friends. Seeing the monuments and the Holocaust museum was also nice.
Favorite Upward Bound Workshop:
I liked the New year, New you workshop. It was nice to visualize my goals that way.
How have your grades changed since joining Upward Bound? My grades were pretty good before joining Upward Bound, so they have not changed much. However, my friendships have changed for the better since joining Upward Bound.
Why should someone join Upward Bound? Since Upward Bound gives us a stipend, we basically get paid to do things that help us. Also, the special workshops they have for the seniors seem really nice. Other students should join if they want to learn more about college admissions and if they want to build good friendships.
What staff member(s) are you closest to? I am closest to Ms. Dachele. She is always checking in and is intentional about bonding with us. She’s also playful and professional at the same time. I see her as very influential in Upward Bound.
What are you goals for the future?
I would like to do something with the performing arts. I really like dramatic acting and I would like to perform on Broadway one day. I haven’t decided what I want to study in college yet, but I am also interested in Dentistry and Psychology.
Of course, she was absolutely correct. She prides herself on seeking all opportunities that are presented to her and Upward Bound was one of those opportunities.
Jayonna has an amazing understanding of what a good work ethic produces. She knows that the outcome of her successes are dependent on how much she dedicates herself to them. This is a trait that I would love to see in every Upward Bound student.
Name: Jayonna Taylor
Favorite Classes at MCHS: Certified Nursing Assistant class through the Muncie Area Career Center and English
Least Favorite MCHS Classes: Chemistry
Favorite Upward Bound field trip: The group trip to Washington D.C. Seeing the monuments, visiting the Frederick Douglas Memorial house, and taking the boat tour were all very fun things to do.
Favorite Upward Bound Workshop: The Money Madness workshop-- The budgeting activity was really fun and I liked that we got to manage our own money.
Why did you join Upward Bound? I heard about Upward Bound my freshmen year and wanted to be a part of it because of the college readiness aspect.
How have your grades changed since joining Upward Bound? My grades haven’t changed drastically, but getting help in specific subjects has really allowed me to understand my school work better than before.
Why should someone join Upward Bound? Upward Bound offers emotional and motivational support. If someone needs that and wants to get ready for college this is the perfect program. As long as they are willing to put in work, Upward Bound will work for them. Students should also join for educational field trips and college tours.
What staff member(s) are you closest to? I am closest to Ms. Gabbi. We have a lot of love for each other and she’s always there to help and/or just to talk.
What are you goals for the future? I definitely want to graduate from college and possibly join a collegiate Greek organization. I would also like to travel with friends to Bora Bora one day.