37 students complete Upward Bound summer program

A total of 37 area high school students took six weeks out of their summer vacation to learn what being a college student is all about and to prepare themselves for post-secondary education.

The SUNY Fredonia Upward Bound Program’s summer session drew to a close Thursday during an awards and project presentation ceremony at the college’s Williams Center. Program Director Loretta Slaton Torain had nothing but praise for the hard work and dedication the students demonstrated.

“It was a good summer and I believe they learned a lot. We really worked on a lot of critical thinking skills,” Torain said. “This year, because we were going on a field trip to New York City and New York University, we wanted students to focus (their portfolio projects) on New York state and what you can love about the state. We had some good ideas; they celebrated the food, music, grapes, education, everything the state has to offer.”

While picking classes, students could choose from unique topics like ghost hunting, poetry, career cruising, lighthouses and the historical impact of Sept. 11, 2001. Students could also participate in an internship program and they were required to complete community service.

Torain said students also completed a separate class project. For example, the engineering class focused on building models of roller coasters and figuring out how they worked.

“They had to take six classes – a science, social studies, English and math, and then two electives,” Torain explained. “For four weeks, they lived on campus. One week was leadership training at the College Lodge and the final week was the New York City trip.”

Torain thanked all summer program staff for caring and believing in the students, including Upward Bound Program Coordinator Patricia Messina and teachers Kenton Brown, Sandra Ebling, Theresa Hart, Trevor Hitchcock, Karen Schrader, Allen Thomas, Cindy Gedz, Miriam Lugo Alfaro and Frank Torain.

The following students earned their completion certificates on Thursday: Chet Baron, Delaney Brooks, Eboni Brooks, Kieara Caldwell, Kendall Carlson, Malique Carter, Angel Catalano, Nigeria Coleman, Sierra Delcamp, Matthew Dow, Elwin Gomez, Dontazzia Grayson, Angelique Harrison, Nicholas Jones, Analise Mellors, Alexander Montalban, Michael Morales, Rahlik Mosley, Israel Navarro, Michael O’Connor, Thomas Ortiz-Pryll, Andrew Orton, Destiny Parades, Julia Reed, Antonio Robles, Luis Rodriguez, Ulyses Rojas, Lauren Ross, Tiffani Safford, Trajan Schuk, Kimberly Skelly, Megan Skelly, Alysa Snyder, Luis Vega, Amancia Viera, Corinne Wappat and Jermain Willburn.

Upward Bound is an educational opportunity program for low-income Americans that provides help to students in overcoming class, social and cultural barriers to higher education.

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