Salem State's Upward Bound graduates are celebrated at annual recognition ceremony

2011 Upward Bound recognition ceremony

At ceremonies held May 26 at Lawrence High School, graduates of the Salem State University Upward Bound (UB) program were honored for a variety of achievements. The event was hosted by Wendy Porter-Coste, who has directed the highly successful program that provides support to students from low-income families and from families where neither parent holds a bachelor’s degree in their pursuit of higher education and a college degree.

Among guest speakers from Salem State were Dr. Kristin Esterberg, provost and vice president of academic affairs, and Nate Bryant, associate dean of student and academic support services. Salem State University and Upward Bound alumnus Quinn Gonnel , who currently serves as a Lawrence High School humanities, leadership and development teacher, offered the welcoming remarks. A former tutor counselor and instructor for Upward Bound at Salem State, Mr. Gonnel reminded students of the tremendous need in the Lawrence community for programs like Upward Bound; programs that help support students’ efforts to attend and succeed in college.

Upward Bound alumni Kehinde Oshodi, a member of the UB class of 2000, and Dashira Mangual, who graduated in 2004, returned to the program that gave them their start to provide words of encouragement to this year’s graduates. After completing Upward Bound, Ms. Oshodi earned an undergraduate degree in civil engineering from Northeastern University and a master’s degree from the University of Texas-Austin. Miss Mangual graduated from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and is currently in her third year at Massachusetts School of Law.

Upward Bound junior Oscar Duran was honored for outstanding leadership during the ceremonies and Upward Bound sophomore, Ylen Chantal Esteves, was named Upward Bound student of the year.

Photo: 2011 graduates of Salem State University’s Upward Bound program celebrate at a May 26 recognition program at Lawrence High School.