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We present these "testimonials" so that the potential participants and their parents can learn how the UBMS experience affected others.
The experience of UBMS taught me life lessons before attending college. The knowledge I obtained during my years (1999, 2000 and 2001) carry into my life today, even years later. The people I have meet from the variety of states allowed me to open my mind to different points of view and experiences with friendship that I still have today. UBMS will always hold a special place in my heart because my experiences during my summers at Northwest Missouri State University.
UBMS was an amazing experience for me. It really prepared me for what college was going to be like. The classes were challenging, yet fun. But, the best part is you meet lifelong friends. I still talk to my friends from UBMS even though we live in different states.
Opportunities sometimes come only once in your life, this being said. I think UBMS is an opportunity of a lifetime. It is 6 weeks full of fun, intellectual learning, and personal growth. This is a time I will never forget, and that I am thankful for the opportunity to take part in it.
UBMS made such a positive impact on my life, and I wish the best to everyone who applies. I've always said the greatest part about the program is the comfortable learning atmosphere. Unlike high school where I remember it not being socially acceptable to apply yourself in class, but at UBMS you're surrounded by other people who want to learn. It allows you to open up with people and really be yourself without fear of alienation. I made so many amazing friends at UBMS, and we still keep in touch and visit each other occasionally. UBMS marked a huge turning point in my life, and it also made adjusting to college life feel very natural.
When I think of UBMS, I automatically think of the friendships I made during that summer. I can't believe that it has been 6 years! I formed an amazing bond with Claire W. and had great summer with her. I think of the independence that I gained that summer. I HATED my parents for making me go to "nerd camp" when I could have just stayed at home and hung out with my friends. I'm so lucky that they made me go. I learned so much about myself, my gifts as a "nerd," and how to be a great friend. UBMS helped me to realize that I could really succeed at going to college. I knew from that experience that I would have a great time in college and that I would also do well in the classroom. I truly enjoyed the fun trips we made every weekend.
UBMS was definitely worth the 6 weeks of the summer I was there. I had a blast and it was non-stop fun. I met so many cool people there and experienced quite a few firsts while I was there too. I finally felt a little challenge in class and the teachers/professors were great. I even remember a little Turkish. Elma (apple). I went in the summer of 2005 and still keep in touch with all my friends I met there. I even have plans to meet some of them soon.
When I arrived at the university for the beginning of UBMS I was still a little nervous and scared. I had never left home for more than a week, and this was going to be six. I was glad my parents left me though, because it was the most memorable weeks of my life. I made friends from across Missouri and I I had a blast while doing it. I gained so much knowledge that I would have never learned at my small town school. Geology, Spherical Geometry, Meteorology and many other amazing classes. I also learned how to trust myself and others. My confidence soared and I left being prepared to do greater things in my life.
My first week at UBMS I wanted to go home. After that week, I never wanted to leave. When the time finally came to return home I didn't want to. It was so hard to leave behind all my friends and peers. I had thought that I would never see them or contact them again, but thankfully with Facebook and messengers I kept in contact. Many of them I still contact and keep in touch. I'll always remember my six weeks and the difference it made in my life. I'm telling you now, to not let this opportunity pass you up. If it does, you'll be missing out on an experience that will change your life for the better.
UBMS really changed my life. I know that sounds a little cheesy and lacking in the creativity department, but it really is true. Never before have I learned so much without even realizing it. The teachers are more than willing to help you in whatever way possible, and the material is more than your high school chemical equations and polynomials. There's a topic to pique anybody's interest.
Most of the learning is done outside of the classroom, however. Not only am I referring to the enormous amount of fieldwork done, but I also believe that the heart of all of the lessons UBMS has to offer lies within your peers. UBMS picks you up and throws you into a crowd of complete strangers, and for those of you that come from a small town with little diversity (like me), this crowd is almost overwhelmingly diverse. By the end of the six week session, these people become some of the best friends you could ask for.
I was skeptic at first as well. The fact that you're reading this letter, however, really shows me that you're the kind of person that would fit right in at UBMS. As my mom always used to tell me, "Try it, you might like it." Those six weeks will definitely prove to be the best six weeks you've ever had.
My name is Nicole W. and I am a success story of the TRIO and UBMS programs. My background and family history is such that I would have been counted lucky to have graduated high school. With a teenage mom, a father who committed suicide, and no family connections to an institute of higher education, I really believe that had I not had outside intervention, my life could have been much different.
When I first encountered the UBMS program I was a seriously depressed young woman who believed that life was little more than my home town. Through immersion in this six week long session, I made friends and connections outside my boundaries. I saw life on campus was very realistic and possible for me. My very best friend was made at this UBMS program.
Later, on my way through college, the TRIO program came to my aid. College can be a very lonely process, where it is hard to find a road map to the end. TRIO came through with a variety of activities, advisors, and genuine friends again to see me through. I really don't know how I would have coped without them.
Today I find myself in South Texas, with a loving husband, three beautiful children, and a thriving retail business. Every day I call upon skills learned through the dedication of the UBMS and TRIO staffs. I use networking to find the people and supplies I need, I use creativity exercises to overcome difficult problems, I use computers to simplify my workload. I honestly cannot list all the different things young students can learn through these programs. Please, for the sake of all of the children living in difficult situations, please continue to fund a way up and out for them.
Upward Bound had such a profound affect on who I am, that I do not know where to begin. I spent three summers with the program and loved every minute of it. I have even encouraged some of my students to attend similar programs here in Kentucky.
The UBMS program exposed me to science and math learning that I would have never experienced at the high school level. The book that I read for Science Fiction class is still me favorite book to this day. I remember learning about fractals, the Fibonacci sequence, and DNA. We went star-gazing and owl chasing. We used food to demonstrate plate tectonics, something that I do with my students.
Not only did I learn amazing science and math skills, but I also learned social skills. The sense of community that existed was remarkable: caring staff, experienced and effective teachers and kids like me, kids that loved math and science. We were assigned 'families' and went on family outings. Spending that amount of time fueled life-long friendships.
To be a part of UBMS is something I will always remember, something that I can always look back on as a good time. UBMS has given me so many opportunities, and I can't imagine my summer without going to Northwest. I had never been in a situation where I was living with fifty people I didn't know for six weeks until two years ago. At the end, I had made fifty new friends; I still keep in touch with a lot of them today. I've learned how to be socially outgoing, and even my classmates have commented on how "bubbly" I can be during class. UBMS is a place where you don't have to try to be someone else, and it's easy to be yourself. I always try to stay true to who I am, but when I go to UBMS, I know I am myself, more than ever. At the end of the six weeks, I go back to a house filled with reality. And every day I reflect on those days I spent at UBMS and what they meant to me. The end of the program is not the end of growth, it's the beginning of more, the beginning of life.
I will follow this email with a couple of other pictures. I guess I am only allowed to attach so much memory per email. Anyhow, I wanted to send this email to you and to anyone interested in the UBMS program. I very much believe it was a stepping stone to my success. I had the tools and the talent, but it was the UBMS program that showed me those tools and those talents and how to best use them. The program taught me that I had leadership potential. Currently, I am training to become an active duty Army officer. I will receive a commission and a bachelor's degree at the same time. The best thing is that the Army is paying for all my education. Going back to high school I would have never thought about the Army or how I was going to pay for school, but here I sit, a junior in college with a brand new car and a free education, courtesy of the Army. I am harnessing my tools and my talents and some other things I learned along the way to become where I am today. I am confident in myself and those around me. I feel like my happiness and gratitude can inspire anyone. I am at a point to where I want to help people and get them to a point to where they can share my success. I just wanted to say thanks to Linda, Jim and the whole UBMS crew. I don't think I would be where I am today if it hadn't gone to your UBMS program.
...As I mentioned earlier I had an internship at Hunter Engineering in St. Louis from May 2004 - December 2004. I attribute this to some of the social skills I gained at UBMS. I do not think many people realize the benefit that UBMS provides in this regard. In the summer 2006 I accepted an internship at Procter & Gamble. In the summer of 2007 I again interned with Procter & Gamble. These internships I have been involved with have done several things for me. They have prepared me for my future work environment. They have given me great practical experience worthy of a resume. They have also just as importantly allowed me to help support my family…I do not want you to think that I am bragging about all that I have accomplished. I do not want to come across that way. I just want you to know the lasting effect that your program has had on me. Without UBMS, it is quite possible that I would have ended up managing a McDonald's or working on cars for the rest of my life. While those occupations are acceptable, I am very happy that I have the opportunities that I have now, thanks in no small part, to your program. Please let me know if there is anything else you would like to know. Thank you so much for UBMS.