FSU-Gadsden Upward Bound program posts perfect graduation rate

Each year, Gadsden County High School students reside on Florida State University’s campus as a part of Upward Bound's 6-week summer program. Last year's group is pictured above.

Florida State University’s Upward Bound Program — a 31-year partnership with Gadsden County High School — celebrated the graduation of 100 percent of its 35-student class last month.  

Each of this year’s Upward Bound graduates will go on to complete their education at a four-year institution or community college or enlist in the military.  

Upward Bound provides college preparation to students living or attending school in Gadsden County. The FSU-Gadsden program falls under the guidance of the Center for Academic Retention and Enhancement (CARE), which provides preparation and support for first-generation college students at Florida State. 

“Higher education is a gateway to a life of promising opportunities, and I’m proud our students will take the step in this academic milestone”

— Inika Williams, director of Upward Bound

“Our scholars’ commitment to further their education has not gone unnoticed,” said Inika Williams, director of Upward Bound. “Higher education is a gateway to a life of promising opportunities, and I’m proud our students will take the step in this academic milestone.”  

Upward Bound students receive afterschool academic tutoring and college advising at Gadsden County High School and reside on Florida State University’s campus for a 6-week summer program. In addition, they attend year-round cultural and social events, and attend college tours across the nation.  

According to the Pell Institute, Upward Bound and other college access service program participants are three times more likely to complete a college degree in six years than students who did not participate in college access services.  

“Upward Bound has contributed to the individual I am today and has helped me identify my career interest to become a business analyst,” said Donald Woods, a four-year Upward Bound participant who will enroll at FSU this summer. Woods, who plans to pursue a degree in Business Administration, will participate virtually in the CARE Summer Bridge Program later this month. 

Shakara Caldwell, who will enroll in the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Pre-Pharmacy Program, said the Upward Bound Program stretched her beyond her comfort zone, and she enjoyed touring colleges and universities in Chicago. 

This year’s Upward Bound graduates are: 

Carmen Albert, Brianna Allen, Khalia Anderson, Shakara Caldwell, Shakira Gammon, Jabril Grant, Chase Harris, Mikayla Harris, De’Ondre Henderson, Phillip Hinson, Keyshawn Huff, Aaliyah Lanier, Traquan Maxwell, J’nyah McIntyre, Ashanti Mckinnon, Seven Mitchell, Charles Moye, By’Riona Owens, Shizerika Price, Christiana Ray, Kierra Reed, Madison Robinette, Ny’Asia Robinson, Taleah Robinson, Harley Skinner, Keith Thomas, Shyann Thomas, Tamara Thomas, Sierra Thompson, Jayla Veneszee, Da’Janique Ward, Delacia Watson, Benjamin Williams, Destinee Williams and Donald Woods. 

For more information on the FSU-CARE Upward Bound Program, visit care.fsu.edu or email the Inika Williams at Inika.Williams@fsu.edu.