Updated: Oct 28, 2020
If you follow me, you know I share how Pace University's Upward Bound saved my life. They made me feel loved and safe when I had no salvation at home. They are the reason why I chose college counseling. I was lucky to get my first counseling job with a sister program, working side-by-side with the team that molded me. I have a career that I love today because of Pace Upward Bound.
My Upward Bound family in 2005.
When their staff came into my ninth grade English class, my eyes lit up as they talked about college admissions. My parents didn't graduate from high school, so we never talked about college in my home. I thought high school was the end of the line, but Upward Bound gave me hope that I could escape my impoverished life along with an abusive father. The folks at Pace believed in me when no one noticed my tenacity to break the cycle. When almost everyone in my family thought it was too expensive to go to a selective college, Upward Bound gave me the knowledge to do it. Because of them, I graduated debt-free.
Upward Bound pushed me to be the first in my family to graduate from high school.
Upward Bound gave me the power to graduate from a selective college debt-free.
My love for Pace Upward Bound has birthed the launch of the "TRIO Works Initiative." A free consulting service designed to mitigate the challenges faced by TRIO programs nationwide. Every year more and more Upward Bound and Talent Search programs get shut down for various reasons. We Go To College will do all we can to navigate these programs toward surviving and thriving.
Our mission is to evaluate college counseling programming and reframe current structures with this initiative. Two goals are to improve the college preparation process by introducing the college application process before senior year and build partnerships with networking groups to spearhead the latest college admissions trends. In addition to this, we hope to give TRIO counselors and students workshops on different aspects of the college application process virtually.
My Upward Bound experience inspires me to give back to TRIO. Now that I'm further along in my career, I want to share my college counseling knowledge with other TRIO programs. TRIO programs must thrive because so many Danny Tejada's out there could use some hope and guidance, which is why I'm offering to do this at no cost. The virtual world of this new normal reveals how we all can be creative in our field. We are excited to have started talks with Harris-Stowe State University's Upward Bound, St. Louis Community College at Forest Park's Upward Bound, and St. Louis University's Talent Search.
I'm looking forward to getting started!
If you're a TRIO program interested in working with me, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to donate to this cause, here's my PayPal, Venmo, and Cash App at $CounselorTejada. Donations are not tax-deductible. Funds are used for the materials I produce/use/share, cover internet costs and time invested. Excessive funds will be used for small scholarships to help TRIO students cover books/balances in college.