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Friday, July 21, 2017

ACC Upward Bound Recognizes Students

ACC Upward Bound Recognizes Students

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 18.

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.

Virginia Lara was the guest speaker for the dinner. She is a former Upward Bound student who plans to obtain her Bachelor’s Degree in teaching next spring. The program helped her learn more about college and how to pursue an education.

“It’s a result of hard work and dedication for me and my parents,” Lara said. “Everything you want in life is possible if you have an education. In Upward Bound, my fear of going to college was diminished.”

Upward Bound students receive tutoring for their classes; take campus tours of Texas 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, 142 students have graduated from Upward Bound 57 percent have finished their college education. In 2017, Upward Bound students have received $15,000 in local scholarships. Graduate Sofia Aguilar was named a Hispanic National Merit Scholar and received a $20,000 scholarship to the University of Texas. Two Upward Bound students have already graduated from ACC with an associates degree from the Dual Degree program and three students were among the top 10 percent in Alvin High School’s graduating class.

“Our numbers really speak to our students’ dedication to their education,” director Regan Metoyer said.

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

Students recognized for the 2016-17 school year are:

Graduate of the Year – Jossue Velazquez

Upward Bound Student of the Year – Jessica Hall

Volunteer of the Year – Venus Higuera

Rising Star – Camryn Pena

Spirit of Upward Bound – Brock Prado

Leadership Award – Shawn Keene

Ms. Manners – Lizeth Garcia-Calero

Mr. Manners – Jose Lara

Good Citizen Award – Antonio Mendoza

Teacher of the Year – Irma Garcia

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