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A Life Changer

My journey with Eastern Michigan University Upward Bound Program all started three years ago, when I attended a field trip to a hands-on art museum in Lansing, Michigan with Upward Bound (UB) as a non-member. After attending the trip, I knew that I wanted to join the organization and receive the full benefits as a member. There are so many people who could have gotten into the program over me, but after three years in this program, I know that I was meant to be in UB. Once I applied, interviewed, and got accepted into UB, everyone in the program greeted me with open arms and changed my life in many ways. I have maintained an exceptional grade point average (GPA), challenged myself to now attend a technical middle college, and experienced a world of opportunities, and. And these are just a few ways that UB has changed my life. I owe my exceptional GPA to UB.

Ever since middle school, I’ve had a good GPA. However when I got to high school and started UB, my GPA and academic awareness changed in a drastic way. I started focusing on more on my academic successful and future. I began researching my colleges, planning career goals, and realizing what I needed to do in order to make my goals a reality. The first start was my GPA, and UB encouraged me to take my grades seriously from the very first college club. At first, I hated college club because I already had a 3.0 GPA, but I still had to attend at least one college club a week. This made no sense to me, but I understood the mission on UB. I need to challenge myself and go further than a 3.0 GPA. After a year of college club, my GPA soared to a 3.5 GPA. This was great, and the majority of my colleges that I was interested in had many scholarships for students with a 3.5 GPA. I learned not only study skills, but I learned time management, organization, and challenging myself all through college club and my GPA. This all opened a door for me to also receive a world of opportunities with Upward Bound.

Through the academic lessons that I learned with Upward Bound, I wanted to take a challenge myself even further. I was a student at an ordinary public high school, and it was a good for average people. However, I knew deep inside of me that I was not an average person, but an extraordinary person. I had heard some Upward Bound peers talking about Technical Middle College. I decided to check the school out, and see if it was an option for me. Indeed, it was a perfect option for me. TMC is a charter high school in Ann Arbor, Michigan that allows students to obtain an Associate’s Degree from Community College while earning their high school diploma. If I would get accepted I would have the best of both worlds: Upward Bound, a program which prepares to follow-through and success in college and Technical Middle College, a school where I can do just that. I would have never gotten into TMC without the information from UB peers and recommendations from UB administrators. This is only one of the many opportunities that I have received through Upward Bound.

The first year of Upward Bound, I received an opportunity to go to St. Charles, Illinois for a Youth Leadership Conference. I met so many people from authors to entertainers, and academic leaders from across the country. I still network and communicate with some of them to this day. I have been to Miami, Florida to visit various colleges; Denver, Colorado where I went white water-rafting; and the East Coast to visit colleges and tour the historical town of Salem. Over the three years, I have been to more colleges than I can count. One opportunity that Upward Bound has given me will last my entire life and that was being elected President of the Student Advisory Board (SAB). This position has brought the leader and leadership qualities out of me. I have created agendas, met with the UB administration, campaigned for the position, spoke at several UB event, ran majority of the board meetings, and set an example for underclassmen. This has been an experience of a lifetime.

The impact that Upward Bound has had on my life cannot be explained or written. The evidence is clearly me and the path to a journey that UB has started me on. Ever since that first trip to an art museum to the many college campuses that I have made trips to, I can say that UB was right for me. There have been many people who have gone through this program and not been impacted, but after three years in this program I know that Upward Bound has impacted, inspired, and motivated me to achieve everything that I have ever dreamed. Through Upward Bound, I know that my success is not a destination, but a journey that will be successful.




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