When Judith Hurtado was attending Alvin High School, she discovered the Upward Bound program at Alvin Community College, which helped prepare students for college.
Her parents were hesitant at first to let her join but with the help of Upward Bound advisors, they finally allowed her to participate.
“I really hold this program near and dear to my heart,” Hurtado said. “I think that was the best decision I have ever made. Without this program I would have never got through college.”
Hurtado was the guest speaker during the annual awards dinner for the ACC Upward Bound program on July 27.
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.
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.
Students recently returned from a visit to the University of Tennessee where they toured the campus and visited various locations in the region.
Students were recognized for their academic achievement during the annual dinner.
“As we celebrate everything you’ve done over this past academic year, just keep in mind that education is a great equalizer,” said John Matula, interim Vice President for Student Services. “It opens opportunities for you. It’s a bright future ready for you to take.”
Hurtado is currently attending the University of Houston-Clear Lake seeking a Bachelor’s Degree in interdisciplinary studies. She credits her success with her in the Upward Bound program.
“This program relies a lot on student participation and parent participation,” Hurtado said. “This program teaches a lot about how to be personable how to be a member of society and how to put yourself forward. I hope you realize what an amazing program this is.”
Seniors graduating from the program this year are: Kendrick Allen, Stephon Allen, Melissa Banda, Jimmy Beasley, Mariana Chavez, Emanuel Delapaz, Laura Wilfried Djudje, Antonio Esquivel, Shae'la Fleming, Donelys Flores, Rodney (RJ) Freeman, Gissel Garza, Kennedy Green, Jenessa Gutierrez, Elijah Harris, Walter Kennon, Natalie Limon, Adrian Marquez Jr., Natalia Moncada, Amalia Nicanor, Jaden Ortega, Raul Ospina, Javier Paz, Alexis Perez, Jackeline Razo, Delilah Rodriguez, Topacio Sanchez and Nadia Tello.