By Jess Kusak
High School students from Basic and Eldorado High Schools participating in the Upward Bound Program at Nevada State College recently had the once in a lifetime opportunity to explore our nation’s capital.
The 30 students spent one week in Washington D.C., Virginia, and Maryland, visiting numerous colleges and universities including George Washington University, Howard University, The College of William and Mary and the University of Maryland College Park. These visits allowed the students to get a first-hand look at the wealth of educational goals they could strive for in the future.
I now have a better idea of what college is like, instead of just looking at what brochures show me, said Emilio Mijares, a 10th grade Basic High School Upward Bound participant.
For Emilio and many of the student participants, this trip held additional significance, as it marked their first time venturing beyond their local surroundings, I never knew what life was like outside of Nevada, continued Emilio.
Being amongst college students from different walks of life and cultures afforded the Upward Bound students an opportunity to embrace new experiences, which will remain with them throughout their lifetimes.
The learning and enrichment did not simply end with the college and university tours students also took in the bountiful history of Washington D.C., touring a variety of sites including the American Indian Museum, the Holocaust Museum, the U.S. Capital, and the Washington Monument.
Beginning in the Spring of 2008, the TRIO Upward Bound Program has been instrumental in fostering the growth of local high school students.
Nevada State College and the TRIO Upward Bound Programs provide holistic educational opportunities to high school participants who are serious about educational pursuits beyond a secondary education, said Kimberly Williams, Director of TRIO Upward Bound at Nevada State College.
Nevada State College was able to begin the program after being awarded two Upward Bound pre-college grants from the United States Department of Education. This funding allowed NSC to implement one Upward Bound project per high school, which specifically target Basic High School in Henderson and Eldorado High School in Las Vegas.
Upward Bound helps you with everything you need to know about colleges. The classes and tutoring provided prepares us, so we can reach our goals, said Tami Schroerlucke, an 11th grade Eldorado High School Upward Bound participant. In addition to mentorship from NSC Upward Bound Program staff, students learn and share experiences with one another. Says Tami, I’ve made a lot of friends this year.
Through the duration of the grant’s four-year span, the TRIO Upward Bound Program at NSC will reach out to 100 low-income, first-generation and disabled students at the two partner high schools. The program’s goal is to serve to educate and empower students, providing them with the necessary skills to go on to attain a baccalaureate degree following high school graduation.