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LWC Upward Bound prepares high school students for college

A total of 50 students from Adair, Clinton, Cumberland, Green, Metcalfe, Russell and Taylor counties participated in LWC's program, which ended earlier this month.

By Duane Bonifer
News from Lindsey Wilson College

COLUMBIA, KY - Lindsey Wilson College once again hosted an Upward Bound summer program. Upward Bound is a federally funded program that gives low-income, first-generation college-bound high school students an opportunity to live on campus and immerse themselves in the college experience over the summer.

Students take college-level math, English and science classes, earning college credits as well as going on service missions and entertaining field trips.

A total of 50 students from Adair, Clinton, Cumberland, Green, Metcalfe, Russell and Taylor counties participated in LWC's program, which ended earlier this month.

"It's a great head start on college classes. It's fun and we develop family like bonds with each other," said Upward Bound student Courtney Adkins of Albany, Ky. "I've been doing this for so long, so that when I finally do start college, I know I won't panic as much or have trouble adjusting to the new lifestyle change. It's changed my perspective on college and on my life."

But the experience is not only about classroom work. Upward Bound students also enjoyed several social outings this summer.

"My favorite part of Upward Bound are the movie nights," said second-year Upward Bound student Seth Owlsey of Burkesville, KY. "We spend most of our time in classes, so the movie nights allow to be sociable and make new friends. That's the best part of this program -- you get to meet new people, do things that you've never done before, and get some classes out of the way."

Krystal Cundiff is one of the driving forces behind LWC's Upward Bound program. Cundiff, who is an Upward Bound counselor/coordinator, works with the program because she loves to help teenagers and believes in Lindsey Wilson's motto of working with "every student, every day."

She said she is also motivated by a desire to help first-generation college students succeed.

"Receiving higher education is the key to success in the modern age," Cundiff said. "I've seen this program work too much to not be able to believe in it. I've seen kids come into our program who had never even thought about college who are now successful college graduates.

"We want to help kids who are at a disadvantage, whether it be that they're from a broken home or that they have severe emotional issues. We want Upward Bound to be a place where they can be free of that and see that they can still obtain a good future for themselves."

This year, Cundiff took the Upward Bound students on a service trip to Nashville, TN, where they worked with the Salvation Army.

LWC's Upward Bound also involved other members of the college's staff. This summer two members of the the LWC residence life office taught two speciality classes: men's area coordinator Jordan Willis taught a film review class, and men's residence hall director Cameron Mueller is taught a class about the history of U.S. Route 66.

"The history of Route 66 is something that has already interested me," Mueller said. "It's nice to see that interest spread to the kids. ... I like interacting with the high school kids because it's a completely different change of pace from what goes on during the normal college semester." - DUANE BONIFER

This story was posted on 2012-07-20 10:14:19
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