The Galveston College Upward Bound program celebrated its students with an awards banquet on July 7, 2022 at the College’s Seibel Wing.


“We’re excited to still be there for those students who will continue going to Galveston College in the fall and support those who are going away,” said Galveston College TRIO Upward Bound Director, Priselda Perez. “We had a really great class this year that pushed and challenged themselves.”


More than 75 Upward Bound students were recognized for all the effort and hard work they put into the program over the course of the year, and were treated to dinner, music and dancing at the banquet.


Among the hardworking students was Galveston College and Ball High School dual credit graduate Jillian Hester, who was honored with an Outstanding Academic Achievement Award. She maintained a 3.9 GPA at Galveston College as a dual credit student and graduated with an associate degree prior to graduating high school in May.


“These accomplishments have helped me set new goals,” said Hester. “They did not come easy and took a lot of work.”


Hester shared her four-year experience in the Upward Bound program and encouraged her classmates to take advantage of the opportunities it provides.


“Upward Bound is one of the best things to happen to me,” she said. “I went to school, did dual credit at Galveston College, was in Upward Bound, worked, played softball at Ball and I somehow managed to be a normal teenager.”


The Upward Bound students were recognized for Leadership, Early Admission/Dual Credit, Academic Achievement, Academic Excellence, Outstanding Seniors and Student Participation, among others.


The banquet’s featured guest speaker was Galveston College Upward Bound alumna Makia Golliday. She spoke to the students about her Upward Bound experience at Galveston College, how it prepared her to pursue a higher education and encouraged them to strive for success.


“I cherish so many moments that I had in the Upward Bound program at Galveston College and I always looked forward to what we would learn,” said Golliday. “I always knew I could do it (graduate college). Your circumstances don’t define your success.”


The Galveston College Upward Bound program is funded through the U.S. Department of Education and is a college preparatory program designed to serve ninth through 12th grade students at Ball High School. The goal of Upward Bound is to increase participants’ enrollment and graduation rates from institutions of higher education by increasing academic performance and motivation of participants.