Upward Bound graduates eight students

By Samantha Maiette


With the intention of helping local area students, from low income families, Upward Bound has partnered with Southern University and Natchitoches Central High School to help students become better students and achieve their goals. On July 11, the program graduated eight students and recognized the achievements of others.

Upward Bound is a federally funded program which assist high school students with school work, ACT prep, college preparedness, social skills, time and anger management and helping students graduate from high school.

“I’ve seen [students] go from single digit ACT scores to double digits and having the ACT score to get into the college of their choice,” said Betty Fagbeyiro, executive director of the program in Natchitoches.

Fagbeyiro describes students when they first enter the program as shy, unfocused and “not taking their education seriously.” However, as the students progress through the program there are visible changes. However, she is not the only person who has noticed a difference in those who attend the program, parents have as well.

“I’m glad she’s in this program,” said Markeish White, a parent whose daughter started the program this summer. “It’s helped her during the school year and today is a wonderful achievement for her.”

On top of increasing their ACT scores, students are also able to obtain college credit which is funded by a scholarship; students were also exposed to guest speakers.

The program has been run by Southern University for the last 25 years. However, there was a time when the funding for the program was cut and the program was placed on hold until funding was restored.

Upward Bound is currently limited to 60 students and Fagbeyiro mentioned that funding would need to be increased before any students on the waiting list are allowed to participate in the program.