News & Events




Press Release



May 10, 2006

Students enjoy food, fun at annual Upward Bound Awards Banquet


Students in Cowley College’s Upward Bound program, along with their family members, enjoyed an evening of food and fun at the annual Upward Bound Awards Banquet held Tuesday in the Brown Center’s Wright Room.

One hundred and thirty people attended the event, which was catered by Beijing Chinese Restaurant. Several awards and gifts were handed out, including the Outstanding Male (Jess Helphingstine) and Female (Jessica Ratzlaff) Upward Bound Student.

“I am very proud of all of our Upward Bound students,” Director of Upward Bound Liz Shepard said. “They are wonderful and I love them all very much. The annual awards banquet is always one of my favorite Upward Bound events. I get to see the students and their parents and enjoy good food and even better company.”

The Upward Bound program is open to students who are enrolled or home-schooled in Argonia, Arkansas City, Cedar Vale, Dexter, Oxford, Wellington, and Winfield. There are currently 50 students in the program.

Ten seniors graduated from the program. The graduates in attendance were, pictured from left, William Nellsch, Jess Helphingstine, Josh Patton, Jessica Ratzlaff, and Michael Row. Those not there were Denim Taton, Darren Perkins, Allison Kraft, Amanda Perkins, and Robert Schwendeman.

“It’s hard to believe that our seniors this year are the first students that David (Combs) and I recruited,” Shepard said. “It just seems like yesterday those students were freshmen.”

Upward Bound students must have completed the eighth grade but have not yet entered the 12th grade and are at least 13 years old and less than 19. Upward Bound members must commit to preparing themselves for post-secondary education before being accepted into the program.

The family income must be within certain federal requirements and/or the student is a first-generation college student. In return for their commitment, Upward Bound provides participants with a wide range of free services, including tutoring, counseling, classroom instructions, college and career guidance, and improving their academic skills and their motivation and determination to pursue a post-secondary education.

Program participants with any grades of a C or below are required to attend tutoring. There also are two Saturday Academies per month throughout the school year and one six-week Summer Excellence Camp.

Upon completion of high school, Upward Bound participants can make the college transition a little easier by participating in the Summer Bridge Program. This program will earn them up to six hours of college credit at no expense to themselves or their families.

Awards presented at Tuesday’s banquet:

•Perfect Attendance — Alaynna Barkley, Argonia; Joel Jennings, Cedar Vale; Stephanie Kilts, Oxford; Ali Lambert, Arkansas City; Gabriel McClure, Cedar Vale; Trevor Patton, Dexter; Cody Wright, Cedar Vale.
•Darn-Near Perfect Attendance — Derrick Chandler, Argonia; Jennifer Dinneen, Arkansas City; Kelsey Ford, Arkansas City; Jess Helphingstine, Cedar Vale; Shane Helphingstine, Cedar Vale; Kariann Jordan, Dexter; Kasha Jordan, Arkansas City; William Nellsch, Cedar Vale; Josh Patton, Dexter.
•Outstanding Upward Bound Male Student — Jess Helphingstine, Cedar Vale.
•Outstanding Upward Bound Female Student — Jessica Ratzlaff, Dexter.
•Best Overall Improved GPA — Kelsey Ford, Arkansas City.