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Upward Bound group takes class on the road

Group activities, classroom sessions, talent shows and dorm timehave provided the students in Copiah-Lincoln Community College’sUpward Bound program with an opportunity to learn and experiencenew things. Now, the students are taking the classroom to thenation’s capitol.

“We all in the program think that every American should get tovisit our nation’s capitol,” said Upward Bound Coordinator JuliaParker. “We know that some of these students would not get thisopportunity otherwise.”

Students participating in the Upward Bound program are travelingto Washington D.C. for a six-day adventure through many of thecity’s famous historical sites.

“We hope to see Ford’s Theatre, Federal Bureau of Engraving,Smithsonian, and monuments on the mall,” Parker said. “We arescheduled for a tour of the White House, Capitol and we arescheduled to have a wreath ceremony at the Tomb of the UnknownSoldier at Arlington Cemetery.”

As part of the Upward Bound program, students are given theopportunity to tour colleges and universities, so while inWashington D.C. the students will visit Howard University,Georgetown University and George Washington University.

“Our ultimate goal is to get students to graduate from a fouryear college,” said Upward Bound advisor Karen Gaudet.

Upward Bound, a federal program that originated in 1965, beganat Co-Lin in 1982 to encourage high school students to seekeducation beyond high school. Those participating must meetgovernmental eligibility and be from specific local highschools.

“Our grant limits us to students from Hazlehurst, CrystalSprings, Lawrence County, Franklin County, Enterprise and BogueChitto,” Gaudet said.

“When we accept a student, we expect to see them year after yearuntil they graduate high school,” Parker added.

The students participate in a six-week residential period duringthe summer where they are assigned dorms, attend classes andactivities at Co-Lin.

“They have responded to every challenge we have given them,”Parker said.

One opportunity the students were presented with was OperationLetters From Home. Serrina Waters, United States Postal ServiceStation Manager for the Brookhaven west station, shared with thestudents about her campaign to send letters to soldiers inIraq.

“When I went and spoke to the young men and women, I stressedthat the campaign was not an issue of supporting the war but anissue of supporting fellow Americans.” Waters said. “I also toldthe kids that they were making a difference in their own lives bycontinuing their education and I challenged them to make adifference in a soldier’s life by writing a letter from theirhearts.”

The students have also participated in field trips to Blue Bayouin Baton Rouge, La., New Stage Theatre in Jackson to see “Crowns,”Global Wildlife Center in Folsom, La. and Trustmark Park in Pearlto see a Mississippi Braves baseball game.

“It’s been fun,” said Roy Jones, an Upward Bound participant.”It really helps you learn a lot of things you need for theupcoming year.”

During the academic school year, the students are required toattend classes one Saturday each month and have tutoring sessionsthree days a week at their high schools. But the students’relationship with Upward Bound does not end after they graduatehigh school.

“After graduation we have a ‘Bridge’ program where we pay forsix hours of college classes at Co-Lin,” Parker said. “A successfulUpward Bound student is a person who graduates with a four yearbachelor’s degree.”