Upward Bound program at Paul D. Camp Community College honors college graduates

Grad Celeb GroupGathering at the event, front row from left, are: Nikiyah Whitehead, Erica Staton, Nyasia Johnson, Jevedia Martin, Jamaal Tillery and Angel Knight. Second row: Tiara Robinson, Joi Myrick, Talisha Jenkins, Sara Lyons, Paula Steward and Cierra Gilmore. Third row: Upward Bound Director Travis Parker, Ellis Cofield III, Tatiyahna Blakely, Haleigh Andrew, Amari T. Long, Diamond Jones and Upward Bound Counselor Angel Cashwell.
 
During a special gathering, The Paul D. Camp Community College Upward Bound Program celebrated 32 of its recent college graduates. The event, held at the Regional Workforce Development Center, gave students time to reflect and share the role that Upward Bound has played in their achievements.
 
Sara Lyons, a 2018 PDCCC graduate, is a theatre and performing arts major at Norfolk State University, and will be a senior this fall semester. She now knows that the significance of Upward Bound’s tenet, “Graduate, Enroll, Graduate.” It made her realize that she can do anything that she sets her mind to do.
 
“Going to PDCCC and attaining my associate’s degree was the best decision I ever made,” she said. “While there, I became a mentor to high school girls who were about to attend college. Making sure they get their associate’s degrees and transfer to a college or university is the best decision they could ever make as well.”
 
She added, “Mr. Parker and Ms. Cashwell are two amazing people in my life!” Travis Parker is the Upward Bound director and Angel Cashwell is counselor.
 
Ellis “Trey” Cofield III, an alum of PDCCC who completed his bachelor’s degree at Chowan University, currently works at PDCCC as recruitment and admissions specialist. He hopes that all eligible youth will take advantage of the opportunity to enroll in the UB program.
 
“It was an enlightening and enriching experience,” he said. “I learned the significance of attending a collegiate institution and because of this program, I also have been able to attain five degrees and certificates.”
 
Upward Bound is a federal TRIO Program focused on assisting high schoolers in grades 9-12 with continuing their education at a postsecondary institution. Many of the students also enroll in dual enrollment classes where they can earn college credits while working toward their high school diploma, including completing a degree or certificate if they go that route.
 
“Our students work hard,” said Parker. “They are not only achieving their own academic and personal goals, but they are serving as mentors and role models for others.”
 
The following students were recognized at the ceremony:
 
Master’s degree recipients:

  • Erica Staton
  • Elizabeth Whitehead

Bachelor’s degree recipients:

  • Jamaal Tillery
  • Tyreckka Hawks
  • Lexus Isom
  • Shaniqua Thorpe
  • Angel Knight
  • Nikiyah Whitehead
  • Joi Myrick
  • Tiara Robinson
  • Ellis Cofield III
  • Talisha Jenkins
  • Brena Whitfield
  • Paula Steward
  • Cierra Gilmore
  • Virginia Goode
  • Rhema Johnson
  • Shunye” Burton
  • Jevedia Martin
  • Tamia Copeland
  • Sahmod Earls

Associate’s degree recipients:

  • Sara Lyons
  • Sharon Sanchez
  • Tatiyahna Blakely
  • Ashlyn Edwards
  • Haleigh Andrew
  • Amari T. Long
  • Angel Padilla
  • Diamond Jones
  • Nyasia Johnson
  • Desirae Gilmore
  • Taniya Wyche

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.

CelebrationHayleigh Andrew, from left, Diamond Jones and Amari Long had the opportunity to reconnect after their May 2018 graduation from PDCCC.