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Northwest Missouri State University


News Release

Eleven area students were recognized during a surprise commencement ceremony to celebrate their completion of the Upward Bound program at Northwest. Upward Bound is designed to help them build self-confidence while preparing them for the academic, social and cultural challenges of college life. (Photos by Darren Whitley)

Eleven area students were recognized during a surprise commencement ceremony to celebrate their completion of the Upward Bound program at Northwest. Upward Bound is designed to help them build self-confidence while preparing them for the academic, social and cultural challenges of college life. (Photos by Darren Whitley)

July 10, 2013

Upward Bound students surprised with graduation ceremony

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:

  • Nick Collins, of Maryville, plans to major in computer science and attend Northwest.

 

  • Ashley Farnsworth, of Stanberry, plans to major in business and attend Metro Community College in Omaha, Neb.

 

  • Katrina Freemyer, of Northeast Nodaway, plans to major in elementary education and attend North Central Missouri College in Trenton.

 

  • Korbin Jones, of West Nodaway, plans to major in media studies and attend Northwest.

 

  • Trevor Luke, of Stanberry, plans to major in pre-med and attend the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

 

  • Philip Merriett, of Tarkio, plans to major in psychology and attend Northwest.

 

  • Ellice Mitchell, of Maryville, plans to major in history and attend Northwest.

 

  • Tanner Rickabaugh, of Maryville, plans to major in computer science and attend Northwest.

 

  • Zuri Vang, of King City, plans to major in nursing and attend Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph.

 

  • Jessica Wilmes, of Stanberry, plans to major in radiology and attend Maple Woods Community College in Kansas City, Mo.

 

  • Laci Wooten, of Tarkio, plans to major in Bio-Engineering (Honors Program) and attend the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
2013 Upward Bound graduates

Pictured above are, kneeling left to right, Jessica Wilmes, Ashley
Farnsworth, Katrina Freemyer, Laci Wooten, Ellice Mitchell and Zuri Vang.

Standing left to right are Philip Merriett, Tanner
Rickabaugh, Korbin Jones, Trevor Luke and Nic Collins.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468