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July 10, 2013
By Elisa Lanter, media relations assistant
The Upward Bound program at Northwest Missouri State University has helped hundreds of students realize their goals of attending college and achieving success over the last 27 years. Last week, 11 more students celebrated their graduation from the program.
The students made their way July 2 to the third floor of the Administration Building, expecting a photo opportunity. Instead, faculty members, family and friends were waiting with candles, music and congratulations for a surprise graduation ceremony. The graduation ceremony was the first of its kind in Upward Bound’s history.
Phil Kenkel, the founder of Northwest’s Upward Bound program and director of the University’s TriO programs, addressed the students and guests. Graduates were recognized and presented with a TriO stole.
TriO is a federally recognized educational outreach program designed for students with disadvantaged backgrounds.
“A lot our kids come from first-generation or low-income families, so college is a foreign entity to them,” Kenkel said. “During the summer, we expose them to a college environment and by the time they get to campus, they are comfortable.”
Five of the 11 graduates will continue their college education at Northwest.
“Upward Bound emphasized financial responsibility,” Upward Bound graduate Ellice Mitchell, of Maryville, said. “It helped me realize my priorities like time management, study habits and discipline.”
Upward Bound, a federally funded education program created by the Higher Education Act of 1965, got its start at Northwest in 1987. The program annually serves 70 high school students from eight high schools in northwest Missouri: King City, Maryville, Nodaway-Holt, Northeast Nodaway, Rock Port, Stanberry, Tarkio and West Nodaway. Open to students who have completed their freshman year of high school up to recent high school graduates, Upward Bound is designed to help them build self-confidence while preparing them for the academic, social and cultural challenges of college life.
During the school year, Upward Bound students gather on the Northwest campus once a month to participate in workshops, college visits and other learning opportunities. A field tutor also meets with students weekly at their home school.
For more information about the Upward Bound program at Northwest, click here.
Graduating members of Upward Bound and their college plans are as follows:
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900
Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468