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CCCC TRIO Upward Bound programs hold virtual summer session

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Click to enlarge,  Amy Gama shows off the book bag she received that was filled with school supplies and STEM related items for hands-on learning activities for the TRIO Upward Bound summer program.

click image to enlarge ⊗

Amy Gama shows off the book bag she received that was filled with school supplies and STEM related ... (more)

Click to enlarge,  Candice Douglass shows off the book bag she received that was filled with school supplies and STEM related items for hands-on learning activities for the TRIO Upward Bound summer program.

click image to enlarge ⊗

Candice Douglass shows off the book bag she received that was filled with school supplies and STEM ... (more)

10.02.2020College & CommunityCollege General

SANFORD - The Central Carolina Community College TRIO Upward Bound programs recently finished its virtual summer session.

Upward Bound provides fundamental support to participants in their preparation for college entrance. The program provides opportunities for participants to succeed in their precollege performance and ultimately in their higher education pursuits. Upward Bound serves high school students from low-income families, high school students from families in which neither parent holds a bachelor's degree, and high school students who have a high risk for academic failure.

CCCC's Upward Bound programs serve approximately 180 students year round from both Lee and Harnett counties. This year, roughly 150 students actively participated in the summer component.

"The Upward Bound programs are unique as a whole because they provide support to prepare participants for college entrance," said Kevin Pearson, CCCC Director of Upward Bound Programs. "The summer program is so special because it affords participants the chance to continue their development and matriculation toward college through fun, interactive, and challenging opportunities at no cost to them or their families.

"Students are able to bridge the learning gap that most students experience from the end of the school year to the beginning of the next and they increase their knowledge and confidence giving them momentum toward starting a new year in high school or their first semester in college," said Pearson.

Pearson notes that this summer was unique as the Upward Bound staff had to transition summer programming from in-person to virtual delivery in a short amount of time. "Leading up to the summer, Upward Bound normally hosts both a graduation ceremony and summer orientation in-person. Our staff worked tirelessly to convert both into virtual events," said Pearson, who noted that N.C. Rep. Robert Reives delivered the keynote address for the graduation event.

The Upward Bound staff utilized Zoom video conferencing and Google Classroom platforms to deliver the online summer academies. Pearson said that the rising sophomores and juniors were able to take courses in Math, English, Science, and Foreign Language all from their homes. Lunch was provided at drive-by pickup locations in both Lee and Harnett counties four days a week.

"Our juniors completed a career-exploration project and a summer-long success workshop series with our seniors who took college level courses all remotely," said Pearson, adding that there was a seamless transition from in-person to virtual delivery thanks to the dedication of the Upward Bound staff.

The 2020 Virtual Summer Session included:

  • Instruction in Mathematics, Science, Foreign Language, Composition and Literature for freshmen and sophomores.
  • Academic tutoring.
  • Summer Bridge for seniors to take college level courses before entering their first year of college.
  • Advice and assistance in secondary and postsecondary course selection.
  • Six weeks to success workshop preparing juniors for entry into postsecondary education college, entrance examinations, and completing college admission applications -- and resources for locating public and private scholarships.
  • Virtual internship program for juniors.
  • Work study/mentoring program where youth are exposed to careers requiring a postsecondary degree.
  • Programs and activities that are specially designed for participants who are limited English proficient, participants from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education, participants who are individuals with disabilities, participants who are homeless children and youth, participants in or who are aging out of foster care, or other disconnected participants.
  • Virtual college tours and enrichment activities.
  • Daily drive-by lunch pick-up.
  • Summer Showcase.

"My favorite part of the Upward Bound summer program is the Student Showcase," said Pearson. "At the end of the summer, students who participated get to show off the projects they completed over the summer and to see their excitement and pride is overwhelming! The Student Showcase is the perfect end to a great summer of fun and learning."

Here's what several students had to say about the program:

  • "Six weeks to success is what was the most beneficial to me. It helped me gain a better understanding and confidence in the college application/ financial aid process."
  • "The career exploration interview was the most beneficial because it allowed us to interview someone in our career field. This was just another eye opener ... that this career is really my dream."
  • "There were several beneficial parts of the summer program! From the six weeks to success to the helpful enrichment activities every Thursday that made it possible to socialize with my Upward Bound family. Even the college tours were very informative and helped me understand the variety of programs that were available at different universities. The six weeks to success meetings really encouraged me and helped me understand the college application process."

For information on the Upward Bound program, visit, or via email at