The UBSA Class of 2022 from left to right: Lilian Gray, Jaida Parish, Roxana Martinez, Melanie Robinson, Kathryn Roeck and Angel Fabian. Back row left to right: Ayleen Cortez, Trinity Roth, Israel Lopez-Lazaro and Mason Collins. COLLINSVILLE - Helping students succeed, keeping them connected, and providing lots of resources were a few things participants praised their program instructors for at their End of the Year and Awards Celebration. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville East St. Louis Center Collinsville’s Upward Bound Scholars Academy (UBSA) held its concluding ceremony on Thursday, April 28 at Collinsville High School.

“We are so proud of each of you for being hardworking and doing your best,” said UBSA Program Director Yvonne Hart. “We try our best to connect with every student. To my seniors, you all were my first class, and now you’re all headed to college.”

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The night was filled with accolades for all UBSA students, with awards including:

UBSA students received awards for achieving academic excellence. Front row left to right: Zuleyri Medina-Campos, Dominique Cortes, Jaida Parish, Taylor Foote', Eliza Martinez-Canseco and Jennifer Canseco. Second row from left to right: Kathryn Roeck, Ayleen Cortez, Trinity Roth, Lilian Gray, Keira Winterich, Roselyn Sanchez and Lessly Rodriguez-Garcia. Back row from left to right: Samuel Hibbard, Jourdan Brocksmith, Jynicia McDonald, Andres Roman, Israel Lopez-Lazraro, Isabel Perez and Tynesha Watson.

  • Most Improved Engagement
  • Most Improved Academically
  • Honor Roll (3.3 GPA or above)
  • Rising Stars
  • Scholar of the Month
  • A-Team (3.0 GPA, active and engaged)
  • Outstanding Scholars
  • Class of 2022
  • Ontrack Modules Completer

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“I wanted to be a lawyer, but I found out about child advocacy in Upward Bound Scholars Academy,” said Kathryn Roeck, UBSA valedictorian. “We had a law class and discussed family law, and that is what led me to child advocacy. I’ve always wanted to help out kids.” Roeck received awards for Honor Roll (all A’s), Scholar of the Month (April), A-Team, and Outstanding Senior Class Scholar.

“Mrs. Yvonne takes a genuine interest in us,” added Roeck. “She guides us because she wants to see us succeed.”

Hart had three tips for the graduating UBSA class:

UBSA Outstanding Scholar of the Year 2020 and 2021 was Kathryn Roeck. UBSA Outstanding Scholar of the Year 2022 was Isabel Perez.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  • Surround yourself with positive people who will provide support. “It is important that Upward Bound builds a community of students, because most of them are going to college for the first time and need support,” said Hart. “I was a first-generation student, and I know the struggles. Our goal is to be here, and see you through the process. It doesn’t end at graduation.”
  • Take care of yourself. “You will fall down many times, but make sure you get up,” she added. “Each time you will learn a lesson, and it will help you to become stronger and better.”

Upward Bound Scholars Academy (UBSA) is a TRIO program federally funded by the U.S. Department of Education. UBSA serves Collinsville High School students, ages 14-19, from low-income families and from families in which neither parent holds a bachelor’s degree. The goal of Upward Bound is to increase the rate at which participants complete secondary education and enroll in and graduate from institutions of postsecondary education.

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