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Congressman David Price urges Upward Bound high school students to pursue lifelong learning

Photo of Congressman David Price


Congressman David Price greets high school students.


Photo of Congressman David Price


Congressman Price speaks about the importance of lifelong learning.


Photo of Dean Bill McDiarmid and Dr. Joe Green


Dean Bill McDiarmid (left) and Dr. Joe Green enjoy the day’s events.


Photo of Ashlea Blair and Shanice Chavis


Upward Bound students Ashlea Blair (left) and Shanice Chavis, from the United Piedmont Center for Educational Excellence in Greensboro, display their project on mummification.

Congressman David Price told his educational story to 160 high school students from across the state who had gathered on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for an Academic Symposium and College Fair on Sept. 26, 2009. The Upward Bound program of the UNC School of Education sponsored the annual event, held at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History. Congressman Price urged the students to continue their educational careers and become lifelong learners.

Bill McDiarmid, dean of the School of Education, also addressed the students. He emphasized the importance of having high educational goals and discussed the value of earning an undergraduate degree.

The day-long event was designed to provide high school students with information about higher education as well as motivation for academic success. The Academic Symposium featured 12 projects presented by high school students and was followed by a College Fair, networking opportunities and workshops aimed at encouraging the students to continue on to post-secondary education.  

“Basically the idea was to move the idea of research from the college level to the high school level,” said Dr. Joseph Green, director of Upward Bound. “Students created research projects and presentations as a way of developing their research skills, their inquiry skills and their presentation skills.”

The symposium was organized by Green and two graduate students, Ashley Tittemore and Danielle Parker. Tittemore is pursing a master’s degree in Education in the School of Education’s Culture, Curriculum and Change area, while Parker is pursuing a Ph.D. in the program.

Students from Upward Bound programs sponsored by universities across North Carolina had worked to develop research topics and create presentations, which they presented at their own university or college. The best posters were selected for presentation at the statewide Academic Symposium. The 12 projects focused on topics such as diabetes in African American communities, Jim Crow laws, building robots and mummification. Judges selected the top three presentations, and the winning students received Carolina t-shirts and keychains.

The symposium was created to mimic the sort of environment students will encounter when they enter college. The Upward Bound program hopes to expand this currently statewide program into a regional, and eventually national, event.

The College Fair portion of the event allowed students to learn about a variety of private colleges, public universities and community colleges. Meredith College, UNC-Pembroke, Shaw University and North Carolina Central University were a few of the institutions in attendance. Students had a chance to explore a variety of post-secondary education options as well as participate in a valuable networking opportunity.

Students were also provided the opportunity to attend three workshop sessions where they could learn about different aspects of applying to and attending college. Some of the workshop topics included financial aid, writing an admissions essay, career exploration and studying abroad. A student life panel allowed the high school students to interact directly with college students, who shared their insights and advice on being a student at a university or college.

A closing statement was presented by Victor Neal, president of the North Carolina Council of Educational Opportunity Programs, a non-profit organization actively involved in educational opportunity programs in higher education. The day culminated with a tour of the UNC-Chapel Hill campus.

“The idea of this symposium was to motivate students who may not have otherwise had opportunities or been exposed to colleges the opportunity to learn about colleges and to gain access to colleges,” said Green.

The Upward Bound program at UNC-Chapel Hill has helped prepare first-generation and low-income high school students for higher education for the past 40 years. Upward Bound provides high school students with opportunities to cultivate and expand their desire to learn and achieve academically and socially, and encourages them to be successful students.