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.

September UB News!


I am excited to be writing to you as the new Director of NMH Upward Bound.  It is amazing how this is my 10th year with NMH UB but in many ways it feels completely new.  Instead of being out in the schools with all the amazing scholars, I am working diligently to make sure our program continues to serve the students of Western Massachusetts as well as we have for nearly 50 years.  I feel incredibly blessed to be part of an amazing staff who work tirelessly to ensure our students get the best services possible.

As we kick off the school year with great hopes for our futures, let us also take time to acknowledge and reflect upon the great injustices that plague our times.  It is important to stay conscious and thoughtful as we grow as scholars and community members.  I am looking forward to a fantastic year with you all; a year of great cultural events, speakers, college trips, enrichment, academic inspiration, and strengthening communities.  

Striving for the future in solidarity,

Mayor Alex Morse of Holyoke was introduced to the NMH community Monday, Sept. 19 by two current UB students and Holyoke residents, Alyssa and Abigail Maymi.
Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse Visits NMH

Mayor Alex Morse: On a calm Monday morning, the students of NMH made their way up rolling campus hills to the Chapel for their community meeting where they would be greeted by  Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse. Morse used this platform to speak about his experiences growing up in Holyoke and how strategic choices and a strong commitment to his community led to him to his path of success. An alumni of the NMH Upward Bound program and a graduate of Brown College, at 22, he became the youngest Mayor of Holyoke and the first to speak fluent Spanish. Morse spoke powerfully about his real life experiences being the most valuable knowledge he possesses. He learned through taking leadership positions in school that young people can make big impacts in their community, and he wanted to reform the segregated Holyoke community for the better.

After speaking to the entire student body, Morse took the time to come to the Upward Bound office and speak to the UB students who attend NMH. They discussed everything from their love of our program to the politics and challenges of the state’s receivership of the school system in Holyoke. While having Alex in our office surrounded by students, it was easy to imagine what he must have been like as a Tutor Counselor at Upward Bound 2008. His charisma, intelligence, and determination serve as a reminder to our students that they too can surpass their goals and reach new limits each and every day. We are so grateful to Mayor Morse for visiting us and sharing his wisdom with our students!


2016 Summer Academy Highlights


After spending six weeks at NMH our 75 Upward Bound Scholars are ready for this new school year. The summer was an eventful one, and students were able to learn, develop and stretch themselves in new ways! Student orientation gave our seniors a chance to learn what it means to be a leader and helped welcome new and returning students this summer. Orientation also allowed scholars to summit Mount Sugarloaf, participate in team building, and engage in meaningful discussions about identity.

 Our students were challenged to take a rigorous course load and 26 senior scholars successfully completed a 3-credit college Humanities course culminating in presentations and final papers focusing on a variety of social justice topics.

The Annual Social Justice Conference, centered on our program theme of Immigrant and Immigration Rights, brought a wide range of presenters and workshops including Migrant Justice, a Vermont based organization that advocates for migrant farmers, Springfield No One Leaves, a grassroots organization that helps residents impacted by the housing crisis advocate against foreclosures and displacement, and our keynote I’yawo Alicia Anabel Santos, a Dominican-American poet and writer. Many of our own scholars presented workshops ranging from Latina representation in media, injustice in the American educational system, and gender. Upward Bound programs from UMASS Dartmouth, University of Maine Farmington, and UMASS Amherst also participated in the conference.

Additionally, over 20 UB Alumni came back to campus to impart guidance on current students at our Annual Alumni Day. Our program trip to Boston was a success and included a trip to the Immigration Museum in the Prudential Center, a Duck Tour, and a music festival in the Common. College Day brought over 20 college admissions representatives, allowing our students to engage in information sessions and mock interviews. Students demonstrated a lot passion and courage in sharing their talents with the UB community and their families at our Annual Talent Show.

Thank you to all of our Scholars and staff  for making Summer Academy 2016 one to remember!

Senior Spotlight: 
Diane Tran 
Springfield Central High School

What is your fondest memory from any Upward Bound event/service/activity?

My fondest memory from any Upward Bound event is my senior year at the Upward Bound Summer Academy 2016. Being surrounded not only by my long-standing friends, but by people that come from all walks of life that see beyond the intersectionality identities of others to see that we are human--That is something that is worth more than gold.

What advice would you give yourself if you could go back to freshman year?

I would say that it is okay to fail. What’s more important is breathing and just feeling. You may not be great at the end of a class or a year, but you made it. You will miss where you have been, but you will always go where you are meant to be.

What have you learned about yourself in the last four years that you didn’t know in Middle School?

I learned about how far my limits and determination for the pursuit of higher education may be pushed. I am astounded by how I understand the reality of the real-world and that perspective is limited. [I’ve learned that a] different look through an unbiased eye may change everything.

Welcome New Academic Adviser and Commonwealth Corps Members!

What is your favorite fall activity?
Haunted Houses 
What is the last book you read?
Coldest Winter Ever
Who would play you in a movie?
Kelly Rowland
What Pokemon would you be?

What is your favorite fall activity?
Going pumpkin picking while drinking pumpkin spice lattes.  
What is the last book you read?
A romance novel
Who would play you in a movie?
Anne Hathaway
What Pokemon would you be?

What is your favorite fall activity?
Mountain Day! (a Smith College tradition)
What is the last book you read?
The Price of Salt
Who would play you in a movie?
Ruby Rose
What Pokemon would you be?



Higher Ed in the News
In his recent essay on Inside Higher Ed, Dr. Eric Anthony Grollman writes about how Academia has continuously failed to show that Black Lives Matter in Higher Education. He criticizes the superficial attempts at diversity counts and liberal speakers often used as a means to avoid instating any real reform. Grollman's essay hopes to shed light on strategies Universities and Colleges can use to help fight institutionalized racial injustice in the classroom and campus. Read his article here
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