May 2016 News Update - Enjoy!
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. 

It's been an amazing year!

Our 2015-16 Staff and Commonwealth Corps Members thank everyone who helped make this a very successful year. We also thank everyone who gave  on Valley Gives Day! You keep us strong!
From left to right: Jessica Sanon, Commonwealth Corps Assistant Advisor (Holyoke); Katy Purington, Commonwealth Corps Assistant Advisor (Springfield); Ana Almeida, Holyoke Advisor; Gisele Litalien, Director; Sharon Gralnick, Assistant Director and Franklin County Advisor; Breyana Roman, Springfield Advisor
UB College Graduates!! Ellanjé Ferguson, '12 and Keyona Jones, '10 graduated from UMass Amherst on May 6th with a Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree, respectively. Congratulations to two of our Springfield UB graduates!
2016 UB Seniors (l-r): Ashley Westry, Isaiah Martinez, Zaisha Colon, Angel Ortiz, Stephanie Colon, Anika Wasse, Eugenia Cojocaru, Olivia Boadi Sarfo, Mudather Abdelrahman, Melissa Otero, Elienith Mercado. Not pictured: Maire Doyle, George Felogloy, Akeeva Forcier, Louis Laguerre, Melanie Kos, Sharleen Santiago, Ira Simmons, Hailey Whipple, Nicholas Xayasouk.
UB Seniors Celebrated and Guided to College
On April 26th, the graduating class of UB seniors gathered with family and advisors to celebrated their  accomplishments. NMH UB alumni Danielle Brown and Andrew Mercado, along with advisors Ana Almeida and Jessica Sanon, who are UB graduates themselves, gave advice to the seniors about what to expect in college, and how to navigate academics, dorms, and other aspects of campus life. Each senior was presented with a certificate of completion and a basket of college dormitory essentials. All of our seniors have great choices and some are still finalizing plans. Good luck and please stay in touch!
Social Justice Uncensored
On April 22nd, UB students attended the Social Justice Uncensored Conference at Keene State College. Each student attended three breakout sessions on topics that included the school-to-prison pipeline, LGBTQ+ Vocabulary 101, and organizing on college campuses. It was a day full of informative and sometimes challenging discussions about important social justice topics. UB students held their own and brought their valuable perspectives to conversations with KSC students and community members. It was a great opportunity for our students to experience a real college environment and know they are ready to thrive there! Thank you to Dottie Morris, KSC Chief Officer of Diversity and Multiculturalism, for generously hosting our students.
Uruguay Bound! Gio Ortiz '17, shown here with NMH classmates before departure, and Iiyannaa Graham,'17, not pictured, flew to Uruguay on May 24, where they will study Spanish and live with Uruguayan families. ¡Buen viaje!
Commonwealth Corps Transition
A huge thanks to our Commonwealth Corps members, Katy Purington and Jessica Sanon, who are finishing up an amazing year of service as College Preparation Assistants. They accomplished so much and strenghtened our program in countless ways through their generous and diligent service. We will miss them and remember all the ways they contributed.
UB graduates- How about you? Is it your time to give back and help make UB better? We are recruiting 2 new Commonwealth Corps members. Apply now or tell your friends about this great opportunity! More info below.

Make a difference in the lives of first generation/low-income college bound students in Western Massachusetts.Tutor, mentor, assist with college applications, events, college trips, cultural trips, and many projects that help us increase our capacity. Must be 21, have a safe driving record, access to reliable transportation, be a Massachusetts resident at time of service. Serve on a dynamic team of professionals and learn many skills that will position you for a wide range of careers or graduate programs. Experience working with youth preferred and at least two years of college required. ​This position is great for people who may be interested in possible careers in education, social justice, counseling, or administration.The mission of the Commonwealth Corps is to engage Massachusetts residents of all ages and backgrounds in service to strengthen communities, address unmet community needs, and increase volunteerism. Members will serve in a stipended capacity from 8/15/16 - 6/27/17. Benefits include a focus on member training and development, as well as a bi-weekly stipend ($479), a completion award ($2,000), an inspiring network of fellow members, and other supports. To apply please send a cover letter and resume to Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the positions are filled​ in June.​ ​E​arly applications will receive priority consideration. To see a full position description click here . To learn more about our Upward Bound program click here.

Jacksiel Colon  '17 Receives Herter Scholarship

Jacksiel Colon, a junior at Holyoke High School, has received the prestigious Christian A. Herter Memorial Scholarship. The Herter Scholarship is awarded to a small number of high school sophomores and juniors in Massachusetts who have demonstrated "difficult personal circumstances, high financial need, and strong academic promise to continue his or her education beyond high school at a college or university." Scholarship recipients are selected through a rigorous application and interview process. The scholarship will cover up to half of his college costs at any college he attends.

Jacksiel says that when he first arrived at his interview, wearing a full suit and tie, he was extremely nervous. The interview lasted about two hours, and he was told to expect the final decisions within the next week. After checking his email and mailbox frequently for several days, Jacksiel finally got the news. He says words could not describe how he felt. In addition to the pride felt by his mom, his advisor and himself for receiving such a selective scholarship, he now also feels ahead of the game. From applying for and receiving the scholarship, Jacksiel already has a strong potential college essay, as well as the assurance that he can now afford to attend almost any college. He says “Now, I am just chilling.”
He is pictured above at a ceremony at the State House with Holyoke State Representative Aaron Vega. Congratulations Jacksiel!
2016 State Advocacy Day!
Several UB students and alumni went to Boston with our staff to participate in a day of advocacy with MEOA (Massachusetts Educational Opportunity Association). After a briefing with Representative Tosado's aide, Ernest Cruz, students and alumni met with state senators and representatives at the State House to raise awareness of the need for programs such as Upward Bound. Students and alumni shared stories about the positive impact of MEOA programs, and encouraged their representatives to increase funding for the programs. Here Suraji Omoru '17, Leila Melendez '14, Breyana Roman and Louis Laguerre '16 meet with Representative Ben Swan from Springfield. 
Alumni Update: José Antonio Bahamonde
UB Graduate José Antonio Bahamonde, Holyoke High School '01, was recognized for excellence as a teaching assistant at Columbia where he is working on a Master's in electrical engineering. Congratulations José! Still  making us proud!
Andrew Mercado, Holyoke High School ‘12
Andrew graduated from Elms College on May 21. He has started a summer position with NMH Upward Bound and he will head to graduate school in Higher Education at Boston College in the fall. Congratulations Andrew!
How was your college experience?
My college experience has been a great adventure. I broadened my horizons by participating in clubs and service trips. In college I have grown as a person and these opportunities have shown me my true interests and passions. It was a challenge to stay open to so many possibilities but overall it has been great.
What was your best college experience?
I would have to say the service trips to Nicaragua. They brought all I learned in college together. I learned how to be a compassionate human being and to care about the things that effect people and I got to make tortillas with the people there. I also got to do a home visit with a family where we cooked chicken soup. We had to catch the chicken and prepare it before we cooked it. It was a very freshly made soup.

What advice would you give to a UB student preparing for college?
Be open to the possibilities that all of the colleges you apply to can offer. Focus on your academics, but be sure to try things outside of your comfort zone.

What are you looking forward to next?
Starting my Master’s degree at Boston College. I am really looking forward to being in a new environment.
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