TRiO Upward Bound celebrates Summer Academy graduates
MOSES LAKE — Big Bend Community College’s TRiO Upward Bound program celebrated the end of its annual six-week Summer Academy with an awards banquet on campus Friday, formally recognizing the 45 students from Moses Lake, Othello, Royal City, and Warden high schools who successfully completed the program.
This was TRiO’s 56th Summer Academy. The program gives students an opportunity to prepare for the upcoming school year, while also helping them learn important life and social skills.
During the summer program, students stay in the Big Bend dorms, take classes for high school and college credit, socialize and eat meals on campus. Aside from classes, students are also able to engage with each other through several group activities and field trips.
TRiO Upward Bound Director Anita De Leon said she was proud of each of the graduates for stepping out of their comfort zones to live away from home and participate in summer academy.
“You learned a lot of life lessons,” said De Leon. “You learned not to give up when things get difficult.”
She added that while there were a lot of fun activities for students throughout the program, there was still a strong emphasis on academics.
“Students put in a lot of work,” said De Leon. “It’s not easy, they worked extremely hard preparing for the future and getting a head start in classes.”
After hearing from TRiO staff, students received their academy completion and GPA awards from their Resident Advisors. They also took time to share photos and video clips from their summer experience with their families.
The celebration ended with Summer Academy instructors presenting their Teacher’s Top Choice awards, and Leadership and All-Star student awards.
The Upward Bound program at Big Bend has been on campus since 1967, and is one of the oldest Upward Bound programs in the nation. TRiO advisors help students who are from low-income backgrounds and who are often first-generation college students, with anything and everything college related- including tutoring, assistance with college and financial aid applications and SAT/ACT preparation.
In addition, students participate in a variety of cultural and social events while in the program. TRiO Upward Bound is currently serving 115 students this academic year.