ACT early …prepping for summer

By T. Lessane, director. 

Upward Bound students who intend to participate in the summer 2017 program are taking a Pre-test ACT today to get a ‘base-line’ score of what to expect. Some will be seeing it again very soon, either March or April, as Charleston County School District administers it to all 11th grade students. Rising sophomores and juniors should still take it as many times as possible (in practice), however; the more they see it, the more familiar they are with the format and flow…and the reality of sitting still for 3 hours, which is often the undoing of a great score as much as anything. Building that “concentration muscle” is crucial for success. Over the summer, our students will have the opportunity to participate in a 3-session (9 total hours) boot camp that will give them the skills to excel and to analyze where they need to improve.

In true Upward Bound fashion, of course, students are being served breakfast before the exam today to make sure that they have the brain food to perform as well as possible. Many are unlikely to eat before they arrive. They will also be provided with a snack and water during the 10 minute break.

Looking forward to continuing improving lives with the (hopefully) renewed grant. Keep positive thoughts in that direction until we hear otherwise!



2016 Spring College Tour

For the 2015-2016 school year, our CofC Upward Bound Students visited four colleges for their Spring College Tour. The tour was originally scheduled for October 2015, but was postponed due effects of the hurricane that hit the Carolinas earlier that month.Those whom attended were freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. Amongst these colleges, they visited Johnson C. Smith University, UNC Chapel Hill, Duke University, and North Carolina Central University (NCCU) over a two-day trip, from Wednesday March 30-Thursday March 31 2016, during spring break. This year was a wonderful experience for the Upward Bound participants, and due to the exposure of multiple college vibes and environments including a few religious encounters; they were able to pick and choose which college lifestyle would suit them best for future decisions.  It is an absolutely incredible ordeal to see our young men and women working their potential to go from being college bound to college found!

~by Charles “CJ” Carter





After a nearly two-year hiatus, the UB blog is going to be back in full effect. Content will be (mostly) turned over to students, but for this first one in a loooong time, I just want to say how grateful I am that I get to do what I do every day.  The motto of this program here at CofC is “Providing the tools to build academic and social success in High School,College, and Beyond.” Everything we do–every conversation, tutoring session, play attended, college tour, every time we pick a student up or drop one off at home, is all for one reason: do what we can to get them prepared for the next level of education and LIFE. To instill the desire to do for themselves what everyone (or in some cases, practically no one) around them wants for them.  With all the assessment and data in the world, at the end of each day our biggest impact is always going to be through the relationships we build with students and families so that when they graduate, they have the confidence to know for sure: “I got this.”

Signing off ~ Mr. T. Lessane, Program Director

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Real Talk “Natural or Nah”


When Is comes to the topic, as well as the act of “going natural” many people (men) aren’t too crazy about the idea of “the big chop”. Personally coming from a long line of thick, long,  curly, hair I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to get a relaxer. My whole life until seventh grade I’d worn my hair natural. I would daydream about how it felt to have STRAIGHT hair. I was in fact fascinated by the thought. So, finally when summer of 2012 came around my mom had decided we were both getting too old for the routine kicking and screaming when the time came to get my hair done. My thirteenth birthday was right around the corner, and i wanted noting else but to chemically straighten my hair and cut it off.

I was extremely shocked that my mom even came to me with the idea. She has always been the type of person who wants a child to look like a child relating to image which is another reason why as a child I never wore weaves. I was 12 the first time I sat in a salon chair. I felt so out of the norm. Almost foreign to a salon. No one except for my mom had ever washed my hair, or even comb through it. Mostly because it was too thick, but also because I’d never trusted anyone with my hair. For a very long time I felt that my hair was what defined me. I felt like no one knew who “Destiny” was until I showed up to school with a blow out. Now that my hair was straight I was what people thought to be pretty.

For whatever reason society feels that straight hair is more beautiful, and for a long time I did too. I liked it when people would ask me things like, “are you mixed?” or “is that your real hair?”. I found myself becoming more and more addicted to the flat iron/blow dryer. I was willing to have extreme split ends if it meant having “white girl hair”. The more compliments I got the more I turned up the heat, and the straighter my hair was. Eventually, my beautiful thick hair became dry, brittle, and would break off. My mom came to me and told me how she regretted letting me relax my hair, and I was in total agreement. I couldn’t believe that something that seemed so great that was suppose to make my life easier was now the reason my hair is  in the worst shape it’s ever been in.

Now that I’m older and I know what it’s like to have a relaxer, and what its like to have my natural hair I’d much rather deal with a few tangles rather than heat damage. I do wear weaves now, and many people feel as if it’s very artificial and fake, but a lot of women do it for convienence rather than opinions (even though a com)

market street


As we start to come to the market. it was very hot, but windy. the sun was in all of are eyes when we got to king street I saw all the stores that sold all kind of thing like dresses, shirts, skirts, shoes, and food. along the way we saw many people walking to places too. when we got to market street I pointed out a sign that said “Daughters of confederacy” I thought it was pretty cool. going into to the market we saw a lot of thing sweet grass weavers one lady gave us a fold-able  about her business in sweet grass it was so cool. other thing we saw was painted picture of common place around the market. when we were standing on the side of the market we saw three horses and you know what that mean it was smelly two of the horses were black and the other one was greyish salt and pepper color. sadly we had to leave. As we walk back I saw how everybody was talking about all the fun they had today. That why I can’t wait till we go again.



Group Bonding (Destiny Triplett)









Last Wedenesday UB took a trip to James Island County Pakr’s ropes course. Unfortunately because of the large number of people we weren’t able to actually do the ropes course. However, the activities that we did participate in were designed specifically to improve communication and strategizing. Out of the large group Nick Hannah (rising senior), was one of few who did an outstanding job in being the “shot caller” for their team (Team Winter). Not to mention his sibling Destiny Triplett (rising sophomore) was one of the winners of an EPIC game of  rock, paper, scissors. Everyone was excited about the trip, but no one expected to have as much fun as they did, and despite the heat the trip definitely grout us closer together.

Dive In

Going into the program, the first thing you expect, is to make new friends. At times it might be hard. Not knowing anyone can be scary. But the best thing you can do, it try to get to know each other and do new things together. Doing this will give you more confidence to open up and meet new people. Even if you think you had a bad first impression, you should always try again. Some friendships might start a little rocky but later turn into something great. Being in Upward Bound, they have many activities to help you. Movie night, girl talk, and workouts are just a few examples. So get out there, make some friends and have a great time.

Tamera Snider

This page is to capture the words, thoughts, ideas, experiences and creative expression of the Upward Bounders at the College of Charleston. This is a small slice of our journey as we grow and expand into the world and show what we're learning and what we and the program are about. In other words, this is how we represent.