What Upward Bound Gave to Me
Before I go on with this, Upward Bound is a college readiness program for students who are first-generation college students. To outsiders, it only looks like this program is full of kids living on a college campus for a while to see what college is like…but to me, it is so much more.
It gave me so many opportunities that I didn’t even know existed. I found a whole new world out there.
I was able to live on a college campus (Eastern Kentucky University, for that matter) for six weeks...taking small classes that didn’t count for actual college credit, but gave you the experience of being on a college schedule, rather than going on the bell-to-bell schedule like high school.
I was able to travel. I was able to break out of my shell. I went up north to Chicago, went east to Washington, D.C., went south to New Orleans, and I was able to see how much life actually has to offer for someone like me.
I was able to meet new people from multiple different counties, states, towns. It is true that there are so many different types of people, and I’m happy I was able to meet different people than just go with those who are from the same town as I. Used to, I didn’t know how to talk to people. But Upward Bound changed me into a social butterfly. Now, I know how to talk to anyone that crosses paths with me.
I was given encouragement, positivity. I was always told that I was worth the world, and no matter what I wanted to do, I could do it. The starting thought in your head of you actually chasing your dreams is the start of it all. I told them I wanted to be the President of The United States one day, and they smile at me and tell me they look forward to seeing my name on the ballot. Not once did they laugh at me and make that childish remark, “ha, good luck with that.”
They made me realize that the world needs caring, heartful people like me. I don’t need to change who I am, I don’t need to learn how to care less, or how to turn the other cheek. This world has plenty of people like that, and less of people like me, which is what they need the most.
I was given hope. I was reminded of the good qualities I have, and to not focus on the flaws I have. I am great just the way I am. I’m going places.
That’s what they always told me, that I am going places. And I most surely am. They loved me. They cared about me. They wanted to see me succeed. And that’s so much.
They encouraged me so much, I applied to every college in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and was accepted to twenty three. I even applied to some out of state. I wanted options.
And lastly, they taught me that I need to love myself for who I am. I need to give myself credit. I need to always try my hardest every day. And to never forget that I am and always will be worth it.
These are some of the things I will never forget that they gave me. That program truly changed me for the better. Thank you Becca, Tamara, Zak, and everyone associated with the program.
Written by MaKayla Henry on October 31st, 2016
Published on November 01, 2016