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Upward Bound completes successful summer

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Approximately 50 local high school students with a thirst for knowledge participated in the Upward Bound Summer Academy Program at Weatherford College.

These teens are first-generation college students from economically disadvantaged families selected from area high schools.

Their summer college experience included living on campus for six weeks and participating in classes ranging from laboratory science to composition to foreign language. Overall, the experience increases the likelihood these students will enroll and graduate from a post-secondary institution, said Jeff Kahlden, director of WC’s Upward Bound program.

“This summer the students focused more on classwork and study skills than ever before,” Kahlden said. “The program built its curriculum around longer classroom time and fewer classes in order for the students to focus more on their core classes.”

In addition to core academic classes, students were able to take courses in college readiness, photography and theater.

Students also traveled to Little Rock, Arkansas, to view historic sites and area universities.

“I enjoyed witnessing places where history happened and being able to see where the Little Rock Nine walked and affected our nations’ educational history,” said Jayce Taylor of Gordon after visiting Little Rock Central High School.

“To see four different universities in another state gives me a better perspective of what my opportunities are outside of Texas,” said senior Devon Badillo of Springtown.

Horizon award Vanessa Murillo -Spirit UB Award Student of the Yr award
Jabin Burns - Horizon Award
Vanessa Murillo - Spirit UB Award
Student of the Year Award

WC’s Upward Bound concludes their summer program with an awards ceremony. This year the following students were honored:

  • Excellence Award in English – Raileigh Trotter, Brewer High School
  • Most Improved Award in English – Jabin Burns, Springtown High School
  • Excellence Award in Mathematics – Dominic Bugarin, Springtown High School
  • Most Improved Award in Mathematics – Liranda Gonzalez, Millsap High School
  • Excellence Award in Advanced Mathematics – Jabin Burns, Springtown High School
  • Most Improved Award in Advanced Mathematics – Teagan Nash, Mineral Wells High School
  • Excellence Award in Science – Raileigh Trotter, Brewer High School
  • Most Improved Award in Science – Cristian Hernandez, Springtown High School
  • Excellence Award in Foreign Language – Sarah Kinnard, Springtown High School
  • Most Improved Award in Foreign Language – Nancy Benavides, Springtown High School
  • Excellence Award in Theater – Jocelyn Fields, Millsap High School
  • Most Improved in Theater – Cristian Hernandez, Springtown High School
  • Excellence in Photography – Dominic Bugarin, Springtown High School
  • Most Improved in Photography – Cristian Hernandez, Springtown High School
  • Outstanding Freshman Award – Logan Lantrip, Gordon High School
  • Outstanding Sophomore Award – Shelby Easterwood, Springtown High School
  • Outstanding Junior Award – Alondra Villegas, Mineral Wells High School
  • Outstanding Bridge Student Award – Caleb Ramirez, Springtown High School
  • Horizon Award Winner – Jabin Burns, Springtown High School
  • The Ethan Seymore Do More Award – Edgar Aguilera, Springtown High School
  • Spirit of Upward Bound Award – Vanessa Murillo, Springtown High School

Upward Bound is grant-funded through the U.S. Department of Education and is part of the federal TRIO programs.

“This grant enables students and their families who need support to complete their dreams of a college education,” Kahlden said. “Our priority is to serve students who need to develop the academic skills necessary to prepare them for a quality education. This program can be a life changer for the individual student and can also make an impact on our local community.”

Upward Bound serves students in Millsap, Mineral Wells, Springtown, Gordon and Graford high schools. Students from these schools who are interested in the Upward Bound program can pick up an application from their high school counselor this fall.

For more information about Upward Bound at WC, contact Kahlden atjkahlden@wc.edu or 817-598-6485.

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