September Newsletter
Northfield Mount Hermon Upward Bound is a federally funded TRIO program which has been helping first generation/low income scholars achieve their college dreams for nearly 50 years. Upward Bound also receives generous funding from the Edwin S. Webster Foundation.

October and November UB News!

Senior Day!
It’s that time of year again: college applications. For most of our students, Columbus Day and Veterans Day mean a day off from school, sleeping in, and a long weekend. For our seniors they represent two fall Senior Days designed to help compile and finalize all the materials necessary to submit their College applications before the winter deadline. In October, Springfield and Holyoke were able to meet together at the Picknelly Adult and Family Learning Center and were supported by both an Americorps  and Commonwealth Corps Member, meaning that each student was able to get direct assistance with essay revisions, college lists, and scholarship searches. Franklin County was comprised of a much smaller bunch and spent the day back on the NMH campus. Luckily for them, the campus farm store was open and they were rewarded for a hard day’s work with a nice trip to the pumpkin patch, and a peek at some delicious organic ice cream.


UB Staff Attend Annual MEOA Conference


On Thursday, October 13 the staff at NMH Upward Bound piled into a mini-van with Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks in hand to head off to the 32nd annual Massachusetts Educational Opportunity Association (MEOA) conference in Devens MA In the past, NMH Upward Bound has been well represented at the MEOA with previous director, Gisele Litalien, acting as Past President and this year was no different with Breyana Roman on the board as Communications Chair. This year’s conference focused on Civic Engagement and Social Change, meaning workshops focused on the power of education and educators’ ability to have deliberate and conscious change on the lives of students. NMH Upward Bound Alumna Eugenia Cojocaru received a scholarship on behalf of the organization.

While at the conference, we had the opportunity to attend individual workshops focusing on educational topics ranging from Girls in STEM to the importance of counseling support for students who have undergone trauma, to proven and reliable ways nonprofits can build relationships with their state’s Representatives and Selectmen. The MEOA conference was an excellent opportunity for the NMH UB staff to network with other educators and gain tools to support our students throughout the academic year and summer, and we look forward to the opportunity to be a part of it again next year!

Image taken from the Hampshire Gazette

Black Lives Matter Event at
Smith College

Each year NMH Upward Bound evaluates the current political climate of our communities, as well as the interests and needs of our students and determines a social justice theme that will be referenced and carried throughout the year and into the summer. This year, with the deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and the many other black citizens who have died at the hands of state sanctioned violence  we have chosen to spend this year focusing on Racial Justice. On October 14, during it’s Meridians Symposium, Smith College hosted Opal Tometi, co-founder of the national Black Lives Matter Organization, and Janaya Khan, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Toronto, to speak about their movement. As this event served as an excellent starting point for this year’s theme, we organized a group of fifteen students to take part in the event.

Students responded well to the speakers and engaged with the topics during and after the event.   When speaking about the Black Lives Matter Movement, Moderator and professor of Africana Studies,  Barbara Ransby stated that “It has recalibrated how we think of race, politics and power in some really, really profound ways.” We hope that by bringing the students to these talks, and by offering them a chance to explore complex issues like the social construction of race, and alternatively, the very real effects of racism, we will be able to help empower them to be self advocates before, during, and after college. 

Senior Spotlight: 
Brianne Ramirez 
Holyoke High School

How has Upward Bound impacted your life?
Upward Bound has allowed me to understand the college process and meet extraordinary people.

What is most important to you when looking for a college or university? Why?
Firstly, the cost because of financial needs, but I would say the atmosphere of the campus should feel like home.

What are three things you really want to do in your lifetime?
-Do something that I am really going to fall in love with.
-Be successful.
-Face my fears.

College Hacks and Facts

This month, we’d like to introduce a new series of “College Hacks” to offer our graduated UBers a little unsolicited advice...even when they’re miles and miles away. This month, we’re focusing on organization. Organization can make or break your living situation while in college. In fact, sometimes you never realize how much stuff you have until you’re forced to cram everything you own, plus a mountain of textbooks and school supplies into the freshman dorm that you’re sharing with some girl from Milwaukee. Take this opportunity to perfect (or create) your organizational skills by:

1. Making a charging station for your electronics. Grab an old shoe box big enough for a power strip and cut a few holes along the long side for your cords to go through. Make sure you cut a hole in the back to plug it all into an outlet, decorate it with your favorite magazine pictures or washi tape and viola! You’ll never misplace your computer charger again!

2. Color coding all of your notebooks and textbooks. If you buy your textbooks, take a sharpie or highlighter and color in the top edges of the pages so you can easily identify them without removing them from your backpack. Do the same with your notebooks and flashcards so when you wake up late for that 8am, you’re not rifling through a bag of unidentifiable books!

3. Having a box of cleaning products on hand. You’d be surprised how quickly dust and spills build up when there’s no one around to remind you to clean them up. Save yourself the trouble of using an old midterm to sop up a tipped over soda bottle and invest in some easy-wipes. If you don’t like the look of having them out, buy a brightly colored milk crate from the store around back to school time and place all your things neatly under your bed.

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