2015 Summer Academy - The Upward Bound Mosaic - Discovering "Us" in "Others"

The 2015 Summer Academy was dedicated to providing a unique and comprehensive college-like experience for Upward Bound Scholars. Using a curriculum based on diversity learning, scholars engaged in project-based assignments and activities to Discover to "Us" in "Others."

As we all know, our identities, actions, and beliefs are often ascribed by our respective cultures. Whether it's our sexual orientation, ethnicity, or religious beliefs, a lack of understanding can often lead to stereotypes, misconceptions, and myths about who we are. As a pillar of TRiO, we understand cultural diversity expands choices, nurtures a variety of skills, human values and worldviews, and most importantly, provides wisdom from the past to inform the future. As a result, this year's summer theme was aptly titled the Upward Bound Mosaic - Discovering the "Us" in "Others." For the past eight weeks through candid dialogues, researching our ancestry, extracurricular activities, and academics, we emphasized the importance of becoming culturally competent, meaning, having the ability to effectively interact, understand, and appreciate the various identities and backgrounds of those around us. While I'm sure everyone will agree that it has been an intense summer, as Upward Bound staff, we believe students now understand "Our rich diversity...is our collective strength."

"Our rich diversity...is our collective strength." Beginning with this year's Academic and Residential Advisors, team-building and critical thinking activities were implemented to facilitate effective communication, promote creativity, and most importantly, to break barriers.

Academically, the 2015 Summer Academy offered the following courses: Economics, Algebra II, U.S. Government, Language Arts, English 111, College English for Bridge Students (graduating high school seniors); and two electives: Foreign Language (Spanish) , and Digital Media. In addition to academic courses, students were offered a variety of co-curricular activities to provide self-exploration, self-awareness, and life skills via project-based learning.

Students and Advisors participate in ancestry/DNA analysis.

Scholars rid themselves of fears and weaknesses at the Fireside Fears Bonfire.

Summer Advisors Kalie Holdren and Preston Igwe help UB Scholar, Rose Jacobs get over her fear of learning to swim.


Students participate in a "Lunch & Learn" to discuss the trials and triumphs of being a first-generation college student.

Under the instruction of Maria Bobik (Zumba) and Tabbitha Ashford (Kickboxing/Bootcamp) of RecSports, students learned how to make exercise fun!

As the Summer Academy came to a close, selected scholars were recognized for Outstanding Academic Achievement & Most Improved. Also, in homage of the Upward Bound Mosaic, students decided to highlight this summer's theme using traditional performances of Latin America (Latin Folklore dancing) and Africa (Stepping).

Special Thanks to the following individuals and organizations for making the 2015 Summer Academy a success:

  • The Upward Bound Staff & Scholars
  • Upward Bound Parents
  • Academic & Residential Advisors - Kalie Holdren, Preston Igwe, Coty Miller, & Joshua Sy
  • University of Notre Dame South Dining Hall
  • Reckers
  • ND RecSports (Mark Williams, Tabbitha Ashford, Ed Beven, & Maria Bobtik)
  • Rolfs Aquatic Center (Frank Vaccaro & Rolfs Lifeguards)
  • DNA Learning Center
  • Jordan Hall of Science
  • Multicultural Student Programs & Services (MSPS)
  • Gender Relations Center (Emmanuel Cannady & Maureen McKenney)
  • Human Resources (Eric Love & LaTonia Ferguson)
  • ND Fire Department
  • Professor Julia Douthwaite
  • Professor Claire Ruth
  • Moises Garcia
  • Randall Cook
  • Bruce Urban
  • Darcia King-Oblenis
  • ND University Writing Program
  • Debartolo Hall
  • OIT
  • ND Provost's Office

Congratulations to all UB Scholars for the successful completion of the 2015 Upward Bound Summer Academy!