Upward Bound summer program concludes

Published 9:43 pm Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Myeisha Butts of Lakeland High School, from left, Breana Whitfield of Southampton High and Taniya Barrett of Lakeland High join the other Upward Bound students in an opening performance during the end-of-the-summer session.

By Wendy Harrison
Special to the News-Herald

Approximately 250 students, staff and guests attended the Paul D. Camp Community College Upward Bound 2011 Closing Ceremony. Held at the Regional Workforce Development Center, the event marked the end of the summer session, which ran from June 20 to July 26.

“The summer program was very successful,” said director Travis Parker. “We averaged 45 students a day.”

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Participants attended classes each day in math, science, literature, English, finance or careers. Seniors took SAT preparatory classes for math, and freshmen participated in the Western Tidewater Tech Prep/Career Pathways Consortium Summer Technology Camp.

Other highlights included a win for PDCCC at a debate against Saint Paul’s College held at Virginia State University during Upward Bound Day; a tour of the Blackwater River through the Blackwater Nottoway Riverkeeper’s Eco-Cruise offering; a tour of the Art Institute of Virginia Beach; and the CPR/first aid certification of 15 students.

With little advice from staff, the students put together a presentation at the end of the summer relating to what they have learned during the program.

“They did a wonderful job,” Parker said.

Featured during the closing ceremony was keynote speaker Kenneth Zollicoffer, pastor of the local AME Zion Church and English teacher at Southampton Middle School. He presented an inspirational message to the students about achieving success.

“The enemy of success is not failure. It is simply not trying,” he said.

The Upward Bound alumni address was delivered by Shaleetta Hicks, a graduate of Franklin High School and a 2010 recipient of the prestigious Gates Millenium Scholarship. Hicks attends the University of Richmond.

Presentations included a finance skit, readings of the students’ own literary pieces, a fashion show and a musical play.