TRIO Upward Bound exceeds program goals at PDCCC

Travis and Tatiyahna BlakelyLakeland High School’s Tatiyahna Blakely, pictured at the May 2018 graduation with Upward Bound Director Travis Parker, is one of UB’s many success stories at PDCCC. She earned her associate’s degree at PDCCC through the Dual Enrollment Program and is currently on a full academic scholarship at University of Virginia.
 
Like a fine wine, Paul D. Camp Community College’s TRIO Upward Bound program keeps getting better with age. Implemented in 2009, the program has continued to grow and support students in many ways to help them achieve post-secondary educational goals.
 
“We do not work to produce students,” PDCCC Upward Bound Director (UB) Travis Parker said, “We work to produce scholars.” He states this along with the statistics to show the progress of the many participants of the program.
 
Currently, UB has helped three students earn master’s degrees. In addition, 10 other students are currently working on graduate degrees. “Twenty-seven scholars have earned a bachelor’s degree, and 44 others are currently attending undergraduate programs at many four-year institutions,” Parker said. “Also, 43 UB scholars have earned associate’s degrees from Paul D. Camp.”
 
The number of students completing post-secondary degrees has increased by 41.5 percent in the last year, bringing the total to 75.
 
“Dual enrollment continues to be an option with which our scholars are challenging themselves to attain college credit, certifications and degrees while still in high school,” he said.
 
“Right now, we have 14 high school seniors who are motivated to do what it takes to get accepted into colleges, and earn scholarship and grants.” According to Parker, six of those seniors are working toward an associate’s degree in general studies and/or a certificate in general education.
 
Students will actually receive these degrees and/or certificates before receiving their high school diplomas.
 
Upward Bound is committed to providing support for and increasing the rate of success for high school senior students who are low income or first-generation potential college graduates.
 
“Since success is dependent on a number of factors in addition to academics, we provide cultural and leadership experiences as well,” said Parker. “We visit area colleges and universities, hold workshops and provide a summer program-which all help a student be better equipped to navigate through life.
 
“The hard work that our scholars are putting into their education continues to make it possible for the UB program to prosper here at Paul D. Camp Community College.”
 
The PDCCC Upward Bound program serves 60 + students in grades 9-12 at three area high schools. For more information, call UB Administrative Assistant Barbara Strylowski, 757-569-6764, or log onto www.pdc.edu.
Sara Lyons and Amari LongSara Lyons, from left, and Amari Long also graduated from PDCCC in May 2018. Lyons, a Franklin High School graduate, is continuing her education at Norfolk State University. Long, a Southampton High School student, was also a Dual Enrollment student and earned her associate’s degree before high school graduation. She is currently studying at Old Dominion University.