NMH Upward Bound changes lives!

See what UB Scholars and graduates are doing! 

 Jessica Jackson, UB '05 becomes Director of Little Friends Preschool

Jessica and the UB director, Gisele Litalien, reminisce about how nervous Jessica was when Gisele dropped her off for an overnight visit at Holy Cross. UB knew that Jessica had great potential and now, ten years later, Jessica can commiserate with Gisele about the joys and challenges of being a program director. She shares her story here: 
I have been working with children of all ages since I was a child myself. I harness a responsibility I feel to help others in whatever capacity they need. My experiencs in Upward Bound, in Kenya and places in between have led me to believe that education is the best means for changing a future. I majored in Psychology at The College of the Holy Cross and I have begun a Master's of Education at St. John's University. My experience with children has led me to a teaching position at a preschool in Queens, NY. My mentors at Little Friends Preschool supported me in my early years and they have continued to challenge me by providing the necessary tools to expand my base.
After my first year at Little Friends my mentors gave me the opportunity to step into a Director's position at one of their other preschool locations. Although this position is still fairly new, I have had the chance to join the community and truly become an educator to both parents and their children. As the Director of a private preschool, I have the same role as a principal in a public school setting just on a smaller scale. I credit my continued success in my professional and personal life to the crucial building blocks Upward Bound gave a wide-eyed, curious 15 year old girl, some time ago. I learned the best lessons in life combine both the heart and mind in order to care for others, challenge yourself by expanding your education and most importantly, despite any odds, continue to pave your own path. As Aristotle once proclaimed,“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” 
Continue to press forward fellow UB Scholars!
Jessica Jackson 
UB Scholars attend ANYTOWN

Five lucky Upward Bound scholars, Melanie Kos, Nathaniel Rivera, Wahab Minhas, Mudather Abdelrahman, and Jacksiel Colon, were selected to attend the National Conference for Community and Justice's ANYTOWN program in August. ANYTOWN is a nationally recognized and award winning diversity, leadership and social justice program for youth ages 14-18. The program is designed to educate, liberate and empower youth to become effective, responsible leaders and community builders. A diverse group of 70 high school students along with 25 staff members come together for a week-long residential experience.
Through a series of workshops, delegates explored their thoughts, opinions and experiences on topics such as bias, bigotry, oppression and social change. Through constant dialogue they worked to build a community based on respect, understanding and inclusivity. The goal of ANYTOWN is to equip the delegates with the knowledge and skills to turn their own communities into spaces that view differences as assets that can bring people together.
M’Liss Dewald, the director of the program, says “It was a pleasure having [UB scholars] in our program.” Jacksiel and Wahab were “engaged and involved from the beginning of the residential experience until the end." Jacksiel "grew a tremendous amount in just six days. He explored what oppression and privilege meant for him and broke down barriers within himself.” Wahab “grew in his understanding of internalization, specifically around racism, and in many other spaces of his identity. He connected with others around him and always had a welcoming presence surrounding him.” Melanie was “a phenomenal ally to have in the white culture group and discussed ways that internalization might impact people, before we even covered internalization! She shared her knowledge with others and was always open to learning more”. Nate found opening up challenging, but, Dewald said, "by the end he was completely open, in an almost freeing way." Muda, as a recent immigrant to the US, despite being challenged by the US based content of the program, “was engaged throughout the whole program. He brought up great questions and had amazing critical thinking skills. He had great insight in small groups and met a lot of new people.”  UB hopes to continue this wonderful partnership with NCCJ and we are grateful for the opportunity to support our students to be able to take part in such a transformative experience. 
Northfield Mount Hermon Upward Bound is a federally funded TRIO program which helps firsgeneration/low income scholars achieve their college dreams.
Mark you calendar for #GivingTuesday - Dec 1st.  Consider donating anytime between now and December 1st to help us reach our goal. Your gift will help us reach more students with UB services!
UB Scholars in Sci Tech Band receive praise from President Obama
Kristina Nunez, UB sophomore, and Anderson Nguyen, UB junior, play in the highly respected 500 piece Sci Tech Band led by Gary Berenice. The band received a wonderful surprise last week: a letter from President Barack Obama commending them on their success. 
Zaisha Colon and Stephanie Colon, Holyoke High UB Scholars, reach for higher education at a recent college fair.
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