2017 Spring Recap and Farewell from Mr. Jones

IUPUI Upward Bound offered several exciting opportunities to students during the 2017 spring semester. At the start of the semester, we introduced an opportunity for our students to volunteer for MLK Day of Service. About 20 students volunteered with St. Vincent de Paul, moving hotel beds from the rooms into trucks to take to their distribution center where they provide everything from clothing to household goods and furniture to hundreds of people in need. Can you imagine going home at night and sleeping on the floor because you do not own a bed? Can you imagine how not having something so easily taken for granted can have a huge impact on someone's life? Moving those heavy beds may have tired us out, but the gratification from doing something good for those who may be less fortunate was a great feeling. Our students left feeling inspired to give back to their community and to help those who could use a helping hand.

We offered several cultural activities as well this past semester, exposing our students to new experiences and an appreciation for the arts. One of the offered activities was a cultural dinner to MA MA'S Korean Restaurant. We also offered an underclassman and a senior etiquette dinner in which our students learned the proper rules and professional guidelines that should be followed at a business dinner. We attended two Indiana Repertory Theatre plays, The Cay and Stuart Little; the Young Musicians Contest; Ballet Hispanico; Motown: The Musical; the movie Hidden Figures; and the presentation "Women of Science."

Our students left feeling inspired to give back to their community and to help those who could use a helping hand.

The two colleges chosen for visitation this spring were Ball State University and Tennessee State University. Students had the opportunity to select the college that most interested them and participate in a campus visit. Students were exposed to information about the school, admission requirements, majors that are offered, and organizations that may be of interest, in addition to a tour of the campus and seeing what dorm living would look like at that university. Students also attended IUPUI Research Day, learning about the research projects some undergraduate students have been working on all semester.

Our amazing Upward Bound seniors were recognized by IUPUI and awarded certificates of achievement at the annual Division of Undergraduate Education Spring Awards Convocation. At the last Academic Theme Saturday, we recognized our class of 2017 seniors with a Senior Celebration. They received a certificate, senior T-shirt, a graduation cord, and a basket of college-bound items. Our seniors will be missed, and we wish them well in their upcoming college career. We had a lot of wonderful opportunities and experiences this spring, and we are looking forward to an exciting Summer Academy!

Seniors of 2017

Brittany Marks

Brittany L. Marks

“Upward Bound has helped me grow academically and socially. The connections you make throughout the program are amazing, and you’re able to take what you’ve learned and apply it anywhere you go.”

Edgar Barbon

Edgar Barbon

“Upward Bound is a place where I can prepare for my future, and it has shown me what college life will  be like. It has taught me how to open up to others.”

Kiara Morris

Kiara A. Morris

"Upward Bound means family to me. . . . a support system that lasts a lifetime.”

Carissa Harris

Carissa Harris

"Upward Bound is a life-changing experience that I will never forget. Not only did I get to travel the world (Epcot Center) and learn so much from the teachers and staff, but I have lifelong friends that I can call family.”

Elizjah Grigsby

Elizjah D. Grigsby

"Upward Bound for the past years, when I think about it, has meant future and opportunity to me. Whenever I would think to myself, 'Why is it that I'm here?,' I'd answer back, 'Because without this, where would I be? Who would I know?' I'm grateful."

Kierstyn Roberts

Kierstyn J. Roberts

"Upward Bound fills in the lost information between high school and college. Upward Bound is a life-changing program. How much you invest in Upward Bound is what you get out of it.”

Damon Brookins

Damon E. Brookins

"Upward Bound means opportunity, and to me Upward Bound means experiences."

Jordan Truitt

Jordan R. Truitt

“I’ve been in Upward Bound since I was a freshman in high school. Since then, I’ve grown so much, and it’s mostly because of UB. I’ve done so many things through UB such as traveling to Niagara Falls, seeing the Blue Man Group perform live, and more recently, going to Disney World for the first time. Being a part of something like this has been an amazing journey, and I’m going to miss coming here and annoying everybody.” 

Kin-Nyshia Meeks

Kin-Nyshia N. Meeks

“Upward Bound is important to me because it helped me come out of my shell and finally become myself and not just a part of myself. Without UB, I think I wouldn’t know as many people or have the experience that I do now, and for that I’m grateful.” 

De'Monie Johnson

De'Monie L. Johnson

"Upward Bound helped me with my time management and also challenged me in my academic studies. UB also helped me with my coping skills, getting along with people, plus experiencing new things and getting out of what I’m used to doing and seeing. UB also helped me realize that the sky is the limit and got me engaged in my future. I just want to thank UB for the opportunity to be a part of their program.”

Keytorria Waites

Keytorria N. Waites

“Upward Bound is an amazing program, and they have given me opportunities that I would never have imagined having. They also help you get prepared for college which is really useful, especially if you’re a college-bound student.”

Lachanee Singleton

Lachanee D. Singletont

“Upward Bound has changed my life for the better and made me see there are great opportunities out there for me. Upward Bound has helped me grow and made me ready for the outside world.”

Lillian James

Lillian S. James

“Upward Bound has taught me to choose your friends wisely. Also, take in this program to its full advantage; this is an opportunity not everyone gets.”

Shala Wheeler

Shala D. Wheeler

“Upward Bound has been an experience that I will never forget. The one thing that I will never forget about UB is the trips we took. I never thought I would ever be on a plane until I went to the Girls in Stem Conference in Kansas. Thank you, UB!”

Tiya Crider

Tiya B. Crider

"Upward Bound has helped me learn to be a better leader. If it weren’t for Ms. Brittany and Ms. Esther, half the things I did this year I would have never thought to do; for example, the Leadership Conference. I was the only senior on the trip, and it took me out of my element, which helped me see I can do things on my own, and I don’t always need someone I know there to comfort me.”

Osceana Johnson

Osceana D. Johnson

"Upward Bound has changed my life, from the people to the experiences I have received. I love Upward Bound and will always remember my experience. If you have children, Upward Bound is a great place for them. Upward Bound will help them grow into beautiful and handsome young people you’ll be proud of.”

Suyen Salgado

Suyen Salgado

"These past three years at Upward Bound have been extremely a blessing . . . from tutoring, ATS, trips, and making different connections within my career field. To me, it means another family to look at and love.” 

Tre Hailey

Tre V. Hailey

"Expand your horizons . . . and also live life to the fullest.”

Farewell from Mr. Jones


It is with mixed emotions that I have resigned from the IUPUI Upward Bound program. It has been a blessing to serve a program for 15 years that I participated in as a youth. Without Upward Bound, I would not be where I am today! I have always encouraged our Upward Bound students to develop and pursue goals, and being an entrepreneur has been on my bucket list for a while. If I didn't pursue my goals, I would not be a very good role model for the students I have served for the last 15 years. Without a doubt, I will miss the relationships I have developed with thousands of students, families, teachers, counselors, administrators, and community leaders over the years. Although I am returning to the business world, my heart will always be with providing services to our youth wherever and whenever I have the opportunity. Don't be surprised if I make an appearance at an Academic Theme Saturday, the Summer Academy, or other Upward Bound activity! I am looking forward to continuing to contribute my time, talents, and treasures to institutions committed to serving and empowering our youth. I wish nothing but the best to all of the Upward Bound staff and students. Best wishes for success to everyone.

David C. Jones

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