Upward Bound Alumni


Upward Bound Alunmi Spotlight: Angel Albert (1996 – 1998)

Before attending Central’s UB program, I didn’t know if I would go to college. Unfortunately, I was warned against attending a four-year college or university
and was told that a community college was the way to guarantee a great job upon graduation. I was told stories of students who graduated from Indian Hills
Community College with $50,000/year jobs waiting for them to graduate., while other grads with their Bachelor’s degree struggle to find a job in their field. Luckily, I found a different message from the staff and TCs at Upward Bound.

Upward Bound at Central started a family tradition when my older sister, Crystal, started the program two years ahead of me. I attended Visitors’ Day with my family and knew I would also love it. Then my little sister, Holly, followed suit nine years later. UB inspired all of us to pursue a four-year degree. Crystal is a registered dietitian. I earned my journalism degree from Iowa State, became a television news reporter, and am now in public relations as a communications editor for the nonprofit, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland. Now, I am two semesters away from earning my master’s degree from Drake University in Communication Leadership. And Holly will graduate in two years with a Bachelor’s degree in human services.

To the students of Central’s UB program, take advantage of the free college credit offered. The teachers and staff have your best interests at heart when they encourage you to pursue your Bachelor’s degree. Beware of the campfires with Bob Boots.

Upward Bound Alumni Spotlight: Diane Snakenberg (2001 – 2004)

Hello UB-ers and UB family!

It seems like my time spent at Upward Bound was not that long ago, but my how 5 years does fly! I guess things have been a little busy…

After three fun filled summers of Upward Bound, I graduated from Sigourney Jr./Sr. High school as class valedictorian and was fortunate enough to return to Central for my bridge year before moving on to the University of Northern Iowa. At UNI, I chose to major in biology (Bob Boots would be proud!) and minor in chemistry and was involved with the honors program, SHAC – Student Health Advisory Committee and Gamma Phi Beta sorority. After spending so much time belonging to a close-knit supportive community at Upward Bound, it was very important for me to find a way to replicate that at college. My involvement with my sorority, work at the Student Health Center and continuing the routine of summer classes helped fill that niche. I had hoped that one day it would work out for me to become a UB TC, but at UNI the next best thing was their Camp Adventure Youth Services program. I spent a summer in Seattle, Washington as a counselor organizing and running a day camp for children of military personnel on the Everett Naval base and enjoyed spending some time out west!

I’ve since then graduated from UNI in May 2008, and have continued my conquests in Iowa City. Ever the perpetual student, I set my sights on graduate school and began work at the University of Iowa Hospital as a nursing assistant on the Adult Leukemia and Bone Marrow Transplant floor, where I once again found a second family in the amazing doctors, physicians assistants, nurses and other staff. This is a good thing as most of the shifts are 12hr. days! I was very excited to find out this fall that I have been accepted to Des Moines University’s Physician Assistant program which will start this June. (Reunion maybe this summer? J ) The program is a two-year master’s level program which entails one year of classroom education, and one year of clinical rotations. I will finally graduate and enter my career in 2012, eight years after I did my first UB dance and was introduced to the concept of lifelong learning. Thanks Louise.

So current UB-ers, live it up this summer! Central College UB is a jewel unlike any other! The tools, experiences, and opportunities you have and will have are one of a kind. Soak in as many hugs as possible, do something silly (allowed myself to be hypnotized), do something brave (sang a solo at the talent show), and do something new (ate new foods, saw new places, met new friends). Repeat this process again and again! One of the coolest things is being able to share your experiences with others, like your friends back home, your families, your babysitting kids (right, Jess?), even those who you will someday meet in the future. UB love is truly never ending!

Upward Bound Alumni Spotlight: Jeremiah Danga (2002 & 2003)

Hello, UBers, My name Jeremiah Danga, a UB former student from four years ago. I am originally from Sudan and moved to the United States on March 29, 2000. When I first arrived in the U.S., I did not speak English. If I can remember it right, I only spoke a few basic words, such as water, go, thank you, hello, and bye. A year later, after my first year in High School, one my favorite teachers mentioned the Upward Bound program to me. I did not know what she was telling me, but I knew that, if she was saying that was going to be beneficial to me, to improve my English, not only that, but also to learn social interaction with others students. After talking to my teacher, I decided to go talk to my Upward Bound counselor at school. My teacher took me down to meet with my counselor and she introduced me to the UB program. I was very enthusiast about it, and couldn’t wait for school to be over so I can go see what this program was all about. My first year of UB, which was the summer of 2002, was kind of a little hard for me because of my language barrier. But however, I didn’t give up on it. However, I thought that I may not make it back after my first summer. But it seemed like all the UB staff cared so much about the students and they see what is good in students. Whenever I talked to the staff, and I always heard them say, “You should come back next summer”. Even the TC’s were the same way. I then thought to myself, and told myself, don’t miss out on this great opportunity. This is a good place for you to improve your social environment and make friends with people from different cultures and different ethnic backgrounds. I decided to come back for my second summer in 2003 thinking that would be like my last summer at UB. But, I had come to understand how important this program was, and it had become a home to me and time that I enjoyed hanging out with great people. I made a lot of friends than I had never had.I can say now, UB changed my life. After graduating from High School, I now look back and realize how much I miss UB. I always want to go back and share my experiences with those that are new to the program, those whom may think UB is not a right place for them. When I was a student, I always wanted to work at UB to help change other’s lives like mine had been changed. However, like I said, I really wanted to work with UB, so as soon as I arrived in college, I wondered if the city I was in had an Upward Bound program. The funny think was, I happened to walk around on campus and went into the admissions building, and when I was looking at the summer jobs posted on the wall, there, I saw, the Upward Bound program was looking for Mentors for their summer. program I was very excited and the next day, I went to see if a position was available. The person who was in charge of hiring said, the position had was just filled. I was one day late. But, she told me there was another Upward Bound Program in town. She said, they might may still have an open position. I called and talked to Jessica, who is the Assistant Director of Upward Bound. She was very enthusiast, and asked me if I could come in the next day to pick up an application. To make the long story short, I got the job! I have worked for the Upward Bound program at Briar University as a TC for two summers, and it was a blast. I enjoyed it so much and I am missing it right now. My last wish I leave with you is that I hope to get a job with an Upward Bound program someday . I believe in making a difference in people lives, like those who helped me better my life. Upward Bound is a great place to be, meet friends, and most important have a family-like environment. I think every program is different, yet I believe the Central College Upward Bound is one of the best of all, just from my own personal experiences. I am now a senior at Morningside College and majoring in Psychology Counseling. I will be finishing up school in December of 2008. I want thank you Louise, Kelly, Judy, and all the other staff members. I miss you all. “Hugs,” Jeremiah.

Upward Bound Alumni Spotlight: Sabera Ray (1982 & 1983)

I was born in Uganda, Africa. When I was 6 years old, my family and I had to flee Uganda due to Idi Amin taking over as a dictator. With only a few weeks before being killed, we were able to escape to Malta. We lived there for about one year and were sponsored to Des Moines, Iowa through Lutheran Church. In Des Moines, I attended East High School and was introduced to the Upward Bound program when I was a sophomore. I participated in the Upward Bound program for two years. Before attending this program I was not planning on attending anything beyond high school due to the fact that only three of my six brothers and sisters graduated from high school and not one went on to college.  Because I had attended the UB program, I was able to see what life would be like in college and how much better my life could be if I continued my education beyond high school. Thanks to UB, I continued my education and became and educator myself. I currently teach sixth grade math at Oskaloosa Middle School and am in my 19th year as a teacher. Thank you UB for giving me the confidence to continue my education and the ability to give back to our youth.

Upward Bound Alumni Spotlight: Jason Paull (2002 & 2003)

Had it not been for Upward Bound, Jason Paull (’02, ’03) would not be where he is today. Currently a senior in chemistry at Iowa State University, Jason is involved in various groups and activities outside of school as well as working while maintaining a busy class load. While participating in the daily requirements of a chemistry major, Jason also finds time for his passions and hobbies. He is currently the principal bassoonist in the Iowa State Symphony Orchestra and the University Wind Ensemble. Musical enrichment is a necessary part of life for him, as he is also the mellophone section leader in the Iowa State University Cyclone Football ‘Varsity’ Marching Band. When he can’t be found pursuing his musical passions, he is an active member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. The fraternity has been a source of philanthropy and service for Jason, as well as a place to grow as an individual. In his free time, Jason enjoys blowing glass as a member of the ISU Gaffer’s guild – the University’s glassblowing club. “Upward Bound was an excellent preparation for college life,” Jason states, “had it not been for UB, I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today.” Jason’s choice to attend a university was heavily influenced by his Upward Bound experience. He had only planned on attending a two year community college while he was in high school, but UB helped him to realize his dreams. His future plans include graduate school and one day giving back to the program which has helped him so much.