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Upward Bound

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Alumni Quotes

As of March, 2013, some of our UBMS alums had some nice things to say about their experiences in the program:

Former UBMS Students

APRIL HUMPHREY: “My summers at UBMS were the first time I was exposed to the scientific method. I did a research project in nuclear physics with a regular faculty member. I didn’t realize how important these experiences would be until I started graduate school and had to complete a thesis based on original scientific research with a professor. During the long and arduous process I thought, I know I can do this because I’ve done it before! The staff were amazingly supportive and encouraging. I gained so much confidence in myself generally and as a scientific thinker specifically.” – April Humphrey, March 18, 2013

April is currently a Researcher at Language Acquisition Research Center, Hunter College, and a Montessori early childhood teacher at the Winfield Children’s House.

SON NUGYEN: “The Upward Bound Math and Science (UBMS) program helped me discovering my potential in math and science. It opened me many opportunities to pursue an education beyond high school. Assistance with financial aid applications, college visits and entrance exams were just a few things that I truly appreciated UBMS. Being a first generation in my family to attend college, I had benefited greatly from UBMS in providing me with the exposure to college experience before heading to college. Thank you.” – Son Nguyen, March 18, 2013

Son is currently a Supply Chain Analyst for Delhaize America (parent company of Hannaford). He graduated from Bangor High School, Class of 1998, and the University of Maine, Class of 2002.

KARI LYNN THURMAN: “Upward Bound Math and Science Program allowed me to be “nerdy and I know it”. I’ve always loved science but didn’t always show it when I was a “kid”. At UBMS, surrounded by a culture that embraces the same love as you, only deepens that love and it made the summer experience so much more enjoyable. It also taught me that it was OK to be me. During my two summers with UBMS I got to study the evolutionary pathways of different species and also got to fight a phobia of mine working different types of arachnids. I even got to handle a black widow spider (in a jar of course!). I still to this day am deathly afraid of spiders, BUT it was something that I never would have done on my own. I also got to work collaboratively in a group testing the affects of gasoline on lake water. The two summers that I spent with UBMS not only enriched my understanding and love of the scientific process, but also confirmed that I was meant to be in the scientific field. UBMS taught me that I will never stop learning and that I am capable of so much more than I thought. I am still in contact with many of my fellow students from my UBMS summers and some staff as well. The staff is so much more than just staff, they care about your success and your personal development. Honestly, without this summer program and the people I met through it, I’m not sure I would have made it through college. I am proud to say that I am the first person from my family to graduate college. I graduated with my B.S. in Secondary Life Science Education and have been teaching in underprivileged/underserved schools for the last 4 years. My teaching journey has taken me all the way to Texas, where I now teach in Killeen, to 8th graders of military families. To this day I would tell anyone that the Upward Bound Program benefits students in the most positive way. Now as a teacher, I can also say that I’m sure the staff benefits as well. With all of the government funding issues going on now and the cuts to TRIO programs, it is imperative that UB continues. For kids like me, it was a life-saver. I’m sure I never got to say this when I was a student there (and mean it the way I do now), but THANK YOU. Thanks to all of the staff that helped to mold me into the person that I am today, and that left footprints on my heart. Thank you for showing me that you care both academically and personally. And most of all, thank you all for continuously being role models to me as an educator. If I can influence my students lives the way UB has mine, then I will be successful.” – Kari Lynn Thurman, former UBMS student

Kari is currently a school teacher in Kileen, Texas, and hopes to positively influence her students’ lives.

VICTORIA PENDLETON: “Upward Bound Math Science is the best thing that ever happened to me. The program taught me not only how to do well in college, but how to succeed. I learned so many valuable life lessons that will help me do well in my chosen profession. Without UBMS, I don’t know if I would be where I am today.” –Victoria Pendleton, former UBMS student

Victoria is currently at UMaine studying Pre-Veterinary Science (class of 2016).

 Former UBMS Staff

DAN LOOK: “I worked with UBMS from the summer of 1997 until the summer of 2010, beginning after my first year of Masters studies at UMaine and continuing through my PhD and into my professorial career. When I began my PhD program in 1999 I was faced with a choice: stay in Boston summers, make more money, and work with my advisor or return to Maine to work with UBMS. This was a very easy choice for me. Every summer at UBMS I felt like I was making a significant difference in people’s lives and impacting their futures. As I worked at the program longer and my students began earning their degrees, pursuing graduate degrees, and, in some cases, returning to work for the program themselves I felt very rewarded for my work. Many of these students arrived at UBMS with little academic support from their peer groups/families and were often from school districts with few extracurricular activities. Without UBMS I am confident that some of our students who now have degrees would be leading much different lives with fewer economic opportunities available to them. This program makes a difference.” - Professor Daniel M. Look, St Lawrence University, March 24, 2013

JONAS PRIDA: “Upward Bound Math/Science was both an incredible professional experience and a personal one. Many of the professional skills I learned at UBMS I use in my everyday teaching, as well as my interactions with my current college students. As importantly, the relationships I made while working for the program are still with me, and there are not a lot of educational experiences that can make that claim. The mixture of achievable challenge and personal accountability is a model for all students, teachers, administrators, and programs.” -Jonas Prida, former English 101 Instructor for UBMS (15 summers) and currently Professor of English at the College of St. Joseph, March 21, 2013

JON MOYER: “My time working for UBMS has provided me with some of the most inspirational and powerful experiences of my life. I was extremely impressed by the students’ willingness and eagerness to spend their summers learning math and science. The program gives these talented and driven students a platform from which they can become leaders in their chosen fields. Indeed, I continually find myself motivated by their example to advance my own studies and pursue an advanced degree. UBMS is an excellent program and I believe it does great credit to the state of Maine.” –Jon Moyer, former UBMS staff member (2007-2008), March 22, 2013

MJ JONES: “Working with UBMS was fun and a grand eye-opener unto what facilitating meaningful and successful projects could be, having a chance to connect with a set of fun, caring, and diverse students.” MaryJean Jones, former UBMS staff member (2010), March 22, 2013


Contact Information

Upward Bound
Upward Bound Room 226 Chadbourne Hall
Orono, Maine 04469
Phone: 800.581.2522 | Fax: 207.581.2710
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System