A-Z Index

Past Testimonials

We present these "testimonials" so that the potential participants and their parents can learn how the UBMS experience affected others.

From Students

From St. Louis, MO Beth C (1995 UBMS) wrote in 2002 Holiday greeting:

"I credit you with a lot of my success. I will graduate from Washington University School of Law in May 2003. I am currently first in my class. I have accepted a job as an Assistant Attorney General with the Oregon Department of Justice."

From University of Tulsa, OK Anthony (1994 UBMS) wrote in a Holiday 2002 e-mail:

"I doubt very seriously that you would remember me. I was the chubby kid with short black hair who would monopolize your weekly counseling sessions...Perhaps it was my awkward phase simply coming to fruition or even my teenage angst getting the best of me, but there were a great many insecurities that I was afraid to deal with. With gentle and mildly pensive words you helped me to open up. In fact, you were the first person I ever opened up to. I want to thank you for that. I do not think that this somewhat myopic revelation is hardly earth shattering, but it is nonetheless important for me to say. Tomorrow is my 25th Birthday. Sometimes I sit back and think to myself about the person I have become in the last quarter century (that sounds terrible!). Whether good or bad, one thing remains constant...If it were not for you and for people like you, I would be less of a man.

From Tobias, NE Devin (UBMS 2001, 2002) wrote this letter describing his 1st year at UBMS:

When I first arrived at the campus of Northwest Missouri State University for the UBMS program, I didn't really know what to do or think. Soon I was swept along by the helpful staff and introduced to everyone. Already my "butterflies" about the program were gone. Other people arrived, and immediately I was talking to them and making new friends. The atmosphere was great, and the people made me feel good about myself. The schedule that UBMS presented kept me busy, while at the same time allotting time for fun.

Later, after we had settled into the campus environment, the classes started. Classes weren't boring; they were more interactive. There was a mixed ambience of fun and learning. The work was very challenging, and at many times, was approached from a different viewpoint than the usual. However, though challenging, it never got to the point of frustration. I felt great when I was finished with my assignment, knowing that I had completed something that had tested my abilities. The new concepts presented struck with a realization of the sheer volume of things that I don't know about and would like to discover. I still use some of the concepts and ideas I learned from UBMS in my math and science classes.

As the program went on, I began to notice changes in myself. My previously low self-esteem was growing day-by-day. I acquired a new sense of responsibility to the point where when I completed everything I had to do, it felt really good. It gave me a sense as to how important grades, responsibility, leadership, and attitude really are in life. It provided me with an opportunity to be in a college atmosphere, and have some freedoms that I hadn't experienced before. It gave me a sense of preparedness for what lies ahead that I had never felt before.

By the conclusion of the program, I felt more mature and confident than I had ever felt before. I had gained many new friends, whom I still keep in touch with. From both an academic and emotional standpoint, my overall experience with UBMS was well worth my time.

From Cambridge, KS, Billy (UBMS 2001, 2002) described his 1st year at UBMS:

At first, I was pretty skeptical about the UBMS program. Six weeks of my summer? Going to school all day? They said that it would be fun learning, but where I come from, fun and school are two things that don't mix. But, I am really glad that I got the chance to attend UBMS. It is a lot different than regular high school...the teachers are all pretty nice at Upward Bound Math & Science. There are a lot of benefits from the camp. Getting away from your family for six weeks (for those who would enjoy that opportunity). Meeting some cool people from four different states. Also, you are getting paid during the six weeks you are at camp, so you can't say "six weeks for nothing." There's all the fun field trips each week, college experience, and the list goes on and on. I guarantee you that, if you choose to attend the camp, you will want to stay for six more weeks by the end of the summer. The camp helped me a lot to become more independent, responsible, and more intelligent. I would tell anyone who has the opportunity to attend UBMS to go for it. You won't regret the decision.

From St. Paul, NE, Eric (UBMS 2000, 2001, Bridge 2002) described his years of UBMS.

At UBMS, I became a whole new person. I was pretty timid and shy before I participated in this great opportunity in Missouri, but while I lived on campus I realized that I was easy to talk to. I only realized this during the summer at UBMS because I "became an new person". I was able to show my easy-going, personable side. The participants at UBMS knew of my willingness to lend a hand, so there was, it seemed, always someone knocking on my door just to talk. It was a great experience. In fact, when I went back to my high school, I tried to open up and act like myself (the self whom I rediscovered at UBMS). I loved this new side of me. I always knew I had it, but I was stuck in a boring, quiet, and nerdy rut; however, participating in UBMS gave me a chance to start over in a new setting with new people. I loved it. For the first time, I was popular and interesting. My classmates back in my Nebraska high school could hardly believe how I had changed...

Finally, I realized that there is a lot that I can learn even though I have good grades in school. Many things are not taught nor even offered at my school; therefore, I felt that another year in UBMS program would benefit me. The classes that UBMS offers are usually fun and require a lot of hands-on activity, which is good for learning and bonding.

I also want to add that UBMS participants don't have to be smart or have taken all of the courses offered during UBMS because this is a learning experience, not a test to see how much you know.

From Wilber, NE, Jessica (UBMS 2000, 2001 Bridge 2002) wrote this letter to prospective UBMS Applicants after her first UBMS summer.

...Last year I was accepted to attend UBMS and although at first I had my doubts, it proved to be the best summer of my life! I took a lot away from the program and it helped me to grow to be a more responsible, respectable person. Let me tell you about a FEW of the experiences.

First off, the classes: they are nothing like your normal school courses. They are extremely fun and up to your skill level. The teachers and teachers' assistants are great and they are the people that make it such an amazing experience.

The evening counseling sessions, the time to share your thoughts and problems with your selective group and help others. I feel like I grew up with every session and I walked out feeling proud of myself every time that I had an individual session. The counselors are terrific people and you can depend on them to help you through the summer if you ever need them!

The weekend trips are awesome and it is a time to really get to know the people in your UBMS family and have a great time. The places that you go and the things that you see are unforgettable!

Last but not least, the friendships that you make! I became really close with my roommate and found that we had much in common. She will be my friend forever! All the people that you will meet are amazing, talented kids, whom you will never forget!

UBMS is such a wonderful experience that I cannot sum it all up in one letter. A lot is what you experience on your own, things that you can take away and be proud!

From Clarinda, IA, Tara (UBMS 2000, Bridge 2001) wrote:

"I was nervous about going to UBMS for six weeks after my junior year of high school. That summer turned out to be the most fun ever....I could never really describe how great it is to be a part of UBMS. The TA's, RT'S, and counselors, Jim, and Linda are great at helping you feel right at home and you will make some of the very best friends while you are there. ... I can say that you won't ever regret spending six weeks of your summer in the UBMS program!"

In 2007, Craig (UBMS 1998 & 1999) wrote:

"I graduated with my Master's in Nuclear Engineering in December of 2005. ... I do feel that UBMS was one of the few life-altering events that I have experienced. The social aspect of meeting like-minded peers has had a very positive impact on my personality development. Additionally, the courses we took at UBMS still stick with me, and have helped me solve many problems through HS and College. ... (Y)our efforts DO have a lasting impact on the lives of young men and women."

In Fall of 2007, Bart (UBMS 2003, Bridge 2004) wrote:

"I come from a small town in rural Nebraska. Due to the size and location of my high school they were unable to offer much more than your general education classes. With UBMS I was able to work in more advanced classes and be introduced to subjects unavailable at my high school. It is also not your usual "sit and listen" high school class; most of the time we were doing hands on activities to keep us involved. UBMS also allowed me to visit many places that I otherwise would not have. Field trips to Kansas City and St. Louis were always a blast.

I also came back a second year as a Bridge student. The Bridge program gave me a good introduction to college classes and college life. It helped that there was some structure with Bridge to learn how to balance study and play, instead of just being turned loose on campus as a freshman with no idea of how to handle my time."

Will (UBMS 2000) wrote in 2007:

"UBMS is a great program that eased my transition into college. I really enjoyed developing friendships with people from other parts of the state and surrounding states (with) whom I still like to keep in touch. I think the more people/resources one knows, the more doors/opportunities open up to them. All of the staff and instructors were amazing and made my experience at UBMS my most memorable summer during high school. The learning environment, field trips, and other group activities were second to none making it "not just another camp." Anyone who is fortunate enough to be a part of the program will definitely take away much more than they may have initially imagined from this summer camp."

Willard (UBMS 2004) wrote in an update in 2007:

"UBMS was one of the better experiences I've had. It was the first time I was away from home for so long, but there was enough supervision I didn't go wild. The classes were mostly interesting. At UBMS I learned a lot socially about making and keeping friends. It was just an all around good experience for me."

Kale (UBMS 2005) wrote in 2007:

"UBMS has changed my life. The friendships I made are ones that I've kept throughout high school and even college. The experience truly does prepare you for college in the fact that you are forced to survive without parents or your usual group of friends -- you must reach out, make friends, study hard, and learn to be more independent than ever before. This affected the way I approached my last two years of high school. I challenged myself more because UBMS had helped me reach beyond what I thought my limits were."

In 2007 Emily (UBMS 2002, 2003) wrote:

"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."

In her Fall 2007 update, Brandie (UBMS 2001, 2002) wrote:

"If I could give advice about the UBMS program it would be that it is an extremely helpful program, not only as a way to better a young person's math/science education, but also as a way to broaden your horizons and meet different people. ... (T)hose were by far the two best summers I have had."

In 2007 JoJo (UBMS 2005) wrote:

"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 and professors were great. I even remember a little Turkish. I still keep in touch with all my friends I met there."

Christina (UBMS 2001) wrote:

"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 also do well in the classroom. I truly enjoyed the fun trips we made every weekend.

I think one of the most important things I learned from UBMS is that there are great opportunities like UBMS out there; you just have to be willing to try it. I am the first person in my family to graduate from college and I am still reaching for the stars as I pursue my Master's degree and will continue on towards my PhD."

Sarah (UBMS 2004, 2005, Bridge 2006) wrote:

"UBMS made such a positive impact on my life! 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, at UBMS you're surrounded by 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 made adjusting to college life feel very natural."

In his Fall 2007 update, Cordairo (UBMS 2002) wrote:

"Opportunities sometimes come only once in your life. 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."

Valerie (UBMS 1999, 2000, Bridge 2001) wrote:

"The experience of UBMS taught me life lessons before attending college. The knowledge I obtained during my years there carries over into my life today years later. The people I met from the variety of states allowed me to open my mind to different points of view and experiences and create friendships that I still have today. "