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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Upward Bound Students Recognized

The Alvin Community College Upward Bound program took a moment to recognize its student achievements over the past year during their annual recognition dinner on July 12.

Upward Bound seeks to motivate low-income and/or potential first-generation college students and help them develop the skills they need to complete secondary education and succeed at the postsecondary educational institution of their choice. The purpose of the program is to build confidence and self-esteem, while providing the necessary tools and guidance to foster academic success.

Since its inception, 60 percent of ACC Upward Bound students have earned a Bachelor’s Degree compared to the state average of 18 percent for all students.

The federally-funded program is created by the Department of Education and works with Alvin High School students. The ACC program was recently notified that its grant was renewed fully by the U.S. Department of Education after a perfect scoring on their grant application. The application was produced by the Upward Bound staff.

The evening’s guest speaker was former Upward Bound student Gabriel Gutierrez. He is currently a student at the University of Houston-Clear Lake pursuing a degree in graphic design. He enrolled in Upward Bound in 2010 and was named the program’s Student of the Year in 2014.

“I was a very closed-off type of kid,” he said. “But Upward Bound provided me with a new environment. They were very inclusive and they accepted me for who I am.”

After struggling in his first semester of college, Gutierrez said he was able to use the knowledge he gained in Upward bound and he began to excel in school.

“I can’t express how important Upward Bound is,” he said. “Everyone here was providing me with the tools I needed. All of these wonderful people were working to help me.

Upward Bound students receive tutoring for their classes; take campus tours of Texas and Louisiana colleges; participate in academic and athletic competitions as well as receive help applying for college and financial aid. Through a grant from the ACC Foundation, they have also taken cultural tours build interest in Texas history, Geology along with arts and sciences.

Since the program began in 2003, 146 students have graduated from Upward Bound and 56 percent have finished their college education. In 2018, Upward Bound students have received $15,000 in local scholarships.

Several Upward Bound students were recognized during the annual dinner for academic and leadership achievements.

Students recognized for the 2017-18 school year are:

Graduate of the Year – Allison Deweese

Upward Bound Student of the Year – Judith Hurtado

Volunteer of the Year – Jose Lara

Rising Star – Stephanie Limon

Spirit of Upward Bound – Daisy Rodriguez

Leadership Award – Jessica Hall

Ms. Manners – Felicity Fletcher

Mr. Manners – Adam Castillo

Good Citizen Award – Priscila Delapaz, Camryn Pena

Teacher of the Year – Maribel Beasely

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