As a first-generation college bound student from a low-income family, the Upward Bound program at Westminster High School gave me the necessary tools to pursue higher education and navigate through the strenuous college admission process. From absorbing academic advising material to visiting college campuses across California, I was able to gain a summer internship with the Huntington Beach Boeing company my junior year; help two Vietnamese-Americans get on the Westminster School District Board of Trustees; cultivate lasting professional networking relationships; and earn a myriad of scholarships, like the Nisei Student Relocation Commemorative Fund Scholarship and APIASF Southern California Edison STEM Scholarship, to help fund my college expenses. These opportunities and connections would not be possible without the compassion, patience, and dedication from the Upward Bound tutors and academic advisors. They believed that students should be given the chance to pursue their definition of success regardless of race, ethnicity, age, sexuality, gender, religion, and belief. With students’ high engagement and participation within the program, the Upward Bound staff went above and beyond what they were expected to fulfill by appointing additional advising meetings and reinforcing the undermined values of self-care. Through the power of individualized mentorship and free educational resources, I found myself to be more tenacious and prepared for college by the end of high school. I hope that students with similar positions and experiences as I did will recognize the useful services and sense of community that Upward Bound provides and utilize them to their fullest potential during and after college.
When you think of High-School, you may envision a crowded Friday-night football game, a noisy corridor, or a difficult exam you’re unprepared for. It may come as a surprise that these things are arbitrary when faced with your real goal—to develop good habits and grow as a human being. High School is a balancing act of stress, studying and personal challenge, and the only way to overcome those challenges is by utilizing every tool you have access to.
Upward Bound has given me many excellent tools—from personalized academic counseling and tutoring to leadership training and college exposure—things I never could have gotten on my own.
As I enter my fourth and final year in the program, I am grateful that my freshman-self made the decision, & the commitment, to take advantage of such a wonderful opportunity, and I advise you to make that same courageous choice.
Take the tools and work to the top.
At Westminster High School, I became a better student and person because of Upward Bound. The program has taught and helped me discipline myself more so that I could concentrate on my school work and what’s important to me. Besides academic work, Upward Bound gave me fundamental advice regarding my future aspirations. Thanks to them, I hold myself to a higher standard and push myself to do better for myself and my family. In college, I take what I’ve learned from the program and apply it to my work. I would definitely recommend Upward Bound to other students. I strongly believe students will be able to learn and engage themselves to do more than they originally thought. They will get a chance to participate in a program that genuinely cares about their high school education and future. Looking back, one of my favorite memories with Upward Bound was the SoCal trip. It was my first time going outside of home alone, but the program made it an enjoyable and educational experience.
Throughout my high school career, Upward Bound has played a crucial role in my education. Ranging from providing free tutoring, Saturday academy, free college tours, and even field trips for those who work hard to get the grade they deserve. They’ve helped me with my own classes, provided us interviews with people who have been in the workforce, and helped us to sufficiently apply to colleges when we become seniors. Even outside of my academics, they gave me opportunities to expand my comfort zone and meet new people who I’ve never thought I would be friends with. We have this special event once a year where we would have an icebreaker/potluck so that we can get to know each other more. Without that, I would have never been able to meet tons of friends outside of my grade. In fact, I’ve had more friends who are a year or two older than me than friends in my grade. Overall, I would one hundred percent recommend this program to students who want more help and information regarding scholarships, careers, and college applications.
Westminster Upward Bound, 14482 Beach Blvd. Suite A, Westminster, CA 92683 • firstname.lastname@example.org • 213-369-9064