“The people here make it worth it,” said Siham Fat Mi during the Upward Bound closing ceremony on Friday, Aug. 2.  

“The people make waking up at 6 in the morning doable. They make having six classes a day manageable… Upward Bound is where working hard is the norm—three hours of study hall a night just to complete all your homework. That’s the epitome of working hard,” Fat Mi said.

Edgar De Leon ’04, a UB and Nobles graduate, marked the completion of his first summer as director. Fat Mi and nine other UB students celebrated graduation from the program and reminisced about their three- or four-year experience with UB.

“The way the program is set up gives us little to no room to fail,” says Alex Cruz. “[With] the 10 counselors, the dedicated staff members, and directors Kelsey, Edgar and Marcela [former director], one has a lot of ways to succeed. I would like to thank the program not only for the valuable tools that were given to us but also for the memories that will never be forgotten.”

De Leon also honored mentor and former UB director Marcela Maldonado, who led the program since 2000. 

The six-week academic summer program hosted 50 students from Lawrence, Mass. Students resided in Wiggins Hall Sunday evenings through Friday afternoons. The program emulates the Nobles experience, beginning with breakfast in the Castle and assembly each morning.

Calculus, algebra, chemistry, Latin, computer science, SAT prep, English and history classes were taught mostly by Nobles faculty members or graduates. Students built solar cars in advanced physics, produced videos in computer science and read about Oscar Wao in English. Class sizes average 13 students or fewer. 

The program also exposed students to a variety of extracurricular activities in the afternoon program as well as fieldtrip opportunities to a Boston theatre, Kimball Farm, the Washington Monument and college visits.

“Hard work brings along amazing opportunities,” says Fat Mi. “As a UB graduate, I’ve been to many places and experienced new things that I would have never done on my own. In total, I visited 21 extraordinary colleges and universities. The experiences I have had here have made lasting impressions on my life.”  

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