AASAP: Arkansas Association of Student Assistance Programs
Joining Upward Bound was the best decision that I have made in my high school career. It pushed me to plan for my future, and to think for my own ambitions and myself, instead of someone else’s goals for me.
As an Asian-American student growing up with parents who were not born in the United States, my belief in pursuing a degree beyond the high school level seemed like a distant dream. That is until I began my adventure with my TRIO program. I had always been taught how im- portant valuing my education would be, but realized after taking part in TS just how much achieving a degree in higher education could help me reach my maximum potential. TS provided me all the tools and in- formation necessary in ensuring my success in college.
College has been a challenge for me since I am a non-traditional, single-parent student with a learning disability. Trying college right out of high school did not work out for me; so I worked minimum wage jobs and had difficulties making ends meet. I started my own suc-cessful cleaning business but still had the desire to obtain my college degree. Even though it was frightening I returned to college and with determination and help from the SSS-Disability program I now have a 3.68 grade point average. The TRIO SSS-D program at HSU enhanced my educational experiences both inside and outside the classroom. They were such a great resource leading me to career fairs, scholarships, and giving workshops on saving money, financial aid, technology, etc. I have and will continue to recommend the TRIO SSS-D program to other students.
SSS/TRIO’s aid had helped me blossom socially by creating a warm, safe, and friendly environment to meet fellow students. This wonderful support program has also aided me by assisting me in gaining knowledge and abilities that I will need in the workforce and for the rest of my future.
The TRIO/SSS department helpedme maintain a stable and grounded experiencewhile obtaining my Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Administration. The support, advice, extra-curricular activities and scholarships that I received from my local TRIO office are all part of the reasons I was able to go from a stay-at-home mom/non-traditional student to obtaining employment. I will always be grateful for the TRIO/SSS group for the extra help they offered me while obtaining my college degree. I’m not sure I would have finished without their assistance.
I have always been a supporter of the TRIO programs, especially Talent Search. I strongly believe that the Talent Search program helped me to be where I am today. The high school I attended until it consolidated was very small. There were about 250 students in grades 7-12. Even though the faculty to student ratio was small and most students received one on one attention in the classroom, we were not always given the opportunities outside of the classroom. Talent Search allowed me to do that. I was able to do things I would not have been able to without Talent Search. I was able to visit several college campuses, attend ACT prep sessions, andto take the ACT for free a couple of times through Talent Search.
In May of 2008, I was the first in my immediate family to graduate from high school. I was raised in a low income, single-parent household where education was a benefit but not a priority. I was determined to continue my education, but I was very unsure of what I wanted to do with my life. When I first went to the Educational Opportunity Center at Rich Mountain Community College, I thought I wanted to be a nurse. I met with an advisor and enrolled in classes. After a couple of semesters, I realized that nursing was not for me! I went back to visit with my EOC advisor to discuss my options. After many lengthy discus- sions, I finally figured out that my heart was truly in teaching. If it had not been for those advisors in the EOC office, I would have never have graduated with a degree.
TRIO is a wonderful federally-funded pre-college program that has helped thousands of high school students successfully transition into college. I honestly believe I’m in college today because of the amazing and dedicated TRIO employees that I had the privilege of working with throughout my life.
My involvement with TRIO and McNair has broadened my understanding of research, built a foundation for research experience, and honed my career aspirations.
Upward Bound has been a major stepping stone in preparing me for college. Before Upward Bound, I wasn’t taking advanced placement classes, nor was I motivated to strive as hard as I do now. I could have made no better decision than to join Upward Bound. I contribute my present and future success to this program.
This spring when I graduate, I will be the first in my family to graduate from high school. When I enter college this fall, I will be the first in my family to attend college. Through education I plan to become the gauge by which my younger siblings can measure success. I have witnessed first-hand how extremely hard it is to remain on track when it comes to education. Being accepted into the Upward Bound Program at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff has made it almost impossible for me to detour from my goal to date. Upward Bound has challenged me to work above and beyond on everything I do. Through the motivation and support of the Upward Bound staff, I will graduate as salutatorian of my class.
The Arkansas Association of Student Assistance Programs represents federally-funded TRIO Programs funded by the U.S. Department of Education.