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Upward Bound gives students a #039;jump-start#039;

On June 8, over 70 area students embarked on a six-week academic course of study at Troy State University as part of Upward Bound, a federally funded program that gives students a jump-start on advanced high school curriculum.

Although most of the time is spent in the classroom or working in the Upward Bound Career Work-Study program, students are still able to cut lose and have a little fun.

On July 3, some of that fun was had by way of the fifth annual Mr. and Miss Upward Bound Pageant.

This year's Mr. and Miss Upward Bound are LaCorey Teague and Paris Anderson.

Upward Bound curriculum specialist Bridgett Anderson said the pageant is a way to help students grow in areas that aren't learned from a textbook.

"They increase their self esteem," she said. "And they learn how to speak in front of people."

Eight young women and four young men competed in the areas of casual and eveningwear, onstage questions and most photogenic.

Other pageant awards include: Devan Flowers, Mr. Personality; Ray Money, Mr. Photogenic; First Runner Up and Academic Scholar: Kasheviya Murray; Third Runner Up and Miss Congeniality, Brittany McNair; Second Runner Up and Academic Scholar, Neshay Hall; and First Runner Up and Academic Scholar, Spentressia Fenn.

Anderson said Mr. and Miss Upward Bound will serve as the programs official representatives.

"If we have a group of Upward Bound students on campus, they will play host and if another program is at Troy State they will serve as student ambassadors," she said.

Anderson also said the two will speak at banquets or other special occasions and participate in the TSU homecoming parade.

Keeping academics the focus, though, students who excel academically and have no discipline problems are able to take a weeklong trip after the summer program.

This year, a group of 65 people-including chaperons, students and staff-traveled to Kentucky and Tennessee.

"We took two buses and we were able to do two college tours," Anderson said.

The group visited Kentucky State and the University of Louisville, also in Kentucky. The students were also able to spend a day at Six Flags while they were in the Bluegrass State.

"We had a great summer," Anderson said. "All of the students did well academically."

At the end of the program, the Upward Bound staff recognized students for their academic successes as well as their positive traits and personalities.

The highest averages in English were Emily Collins, ninth grade; Thad Rodgers, 10th grade; Pamela Townsend, 11th grade; and Donovan Harris, 12th grade.

In history, academic awards went to Emily Collins, ninth grade; Anna Bryant, 10th grade; and Tiffany Pearson, 11th grade.

Students with the highest science averages include: Marcus Ward, ninth grade; Thad Rodgers, 10th grade; Tiffany Pearson, 11th grade; Donovan Harris and Channon Stucky, 12th grade physics; Emily Collins, physical science; Paris Anderson, chemistry and Abe Childs, biology.

Math awards went to Kasheviya Murray and Felisha Johnson, Algebra II; Neshay Hall and Thad Rodgers, geometry; and Marcus Ward, Algebra I.

Brittany Thompson, Anna Bryant, Donovan Harris and Ray Money were voted Most Likely to Succeed. Most Talented includes Ray Money, Jacob Mahone, Tonisha Smith and Tyeka Jackson.

Best Sense of Humor awards went to Jessica Johnson, Brittany McNair, LaCorey Teague and Fred Caffie. Sharesha Money, Sherika Parnell, Darrius Zackery and Lonnie Maddox were all named Class Clowns.

The Shyest awards went to Marcus Ward, Byron McWaters, Tyeshia Cade and Emily Collins. Daffaney Griffin, Tyeshia Cade, Darrius Zackery and Kevin Flowers were all named the friendliest.

Best Dressed awards went to Diamond Thomas, Brittney Knight, Thad Rodgers and Travon Frazier. Most Attractive awards went to Felisha Johnson, Kasheviya Murray, Thad Rodgers and Travon Frazier.

Donovan Harris, Derrick Foster, Brittany McNair and Tyeka Jackson were voted Most Outgoing and Lonnie Maddox, Derrick Foster, Brittany McNair and Kasheviya Murray won the Best Upward Bound Spirit award.