Upward Bound strives for success

As Upward Bound Program Director Lucille Donaldson reflects on her time as a student in the program over 30 years ago, she credits the leadership of her camp instructors for her success.

“This is a very successful program that prepared me along my way of graduating high school and receiving my degrees from Alcorn. I’m excited to say that I went from being a student in the program to being the program director,” said Donaldson.

The popular summer residential program kicked off with nearly 70 students on June 8 and will continue until July 18 as part of the year-round Upward Bound program held on Alcorn’s Lorman campus. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Upward Bound is a pre-college program designed to motivate students by developing their basic skills to enable them to complete high school and make a successful transition into postsecondary education.

The program seeks to prepare participants for college entrance by improving their knowledge in basic academic subjects such as mathematics, English, science, reading and a foreign language. Once a week, participating students have classes on the Natchez campus. The program includes students from Adams, Claiborne, Jefferson and Wilkinson County schools.

Donaldson said the program provides the students with plenty of opportunities to better themselves in the classroom.

“If the students take advantage of what we have to offer, then I think this program will benefit them. We give them subject area tutorials to assist them in passing their standardized tests so that they can graduate from high school.”

Donaldson mentioned how she and the camp leaders are exposing the students to a college atmosphere so they can easily transition into college life.

“We also prepare them for college by giving them college prep courses and workshops in financial aid and admissions. We prepare them to take the ACT test for college entrance also.”

Donaldson expects the students to leave the summer camp with more than educational skills. She wants to expand their horizons by getting them out of their comfort zones.

“We work with the students on social skills. We also allow the students to get involved in extracurricular activities such as traveling to other historically black colleges and universities so they can experience schools other than Alcorn. We also take them to educational museums.”

Jakeiva Chambliss, a 15-year-old who will be entering her junior year at Jefferson County High School this fall, expressed her pleasure with the program’s willingness to prepare them for greatness.

“I like everything about the program. I think it is perfect because they spend time with us to make sure that we are prepared for college. I like the idea of them creating this program so that we can get settled into college life,” said Chambliss.

Roddy Davis, a 16-year-old who will start his senior year at Wilkinson County High School in August, appreciates how fair everyone in the program is and learning a new language.

“They treat us like family here. They don’t have any picks and chooses. They treat us all the same. I’ve also learned a lot since I’ve been coming here. I have been able to learn Spanish,” said Davis.

For more information, contact Lucille Donaldson at (601) 877-6224 or feel free to email her at [email protected].

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