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Judge Drinkard speaks to UWA Upward Bound Students

Contributed Report

LIVINGSTON-Judge Wade Drinkard, a community sponsor of the Upward Bound Program at the University of West Alabama, was a guest speaker for the Upward Bound Career Seminar held at the Bell Conference Center on July 7. Judge Drinkard talked to the UB students about the general requirements of earning a law degree as well as the specific duties of a lawyer and of a district judge. His overall message focused on the importance of education as a means to achieve one’s goals. He commended the seminar participants for their dedication to the mission of Upward Bound and challenged them to strive to achieve academic excellence in high school, to realize their dreams and reach their self-appointed goals by earning a college degree, and to develop a life-long love of learning. Judge Drinkard was accompanied by his wife Glenna who was introduced, much to the students’ delight, as a graduate and former homecoming queen of Livingston University.

A total of 59 high school students from Greene, Marengo, and Sumter counties who participate in The University of West Alabama’s Upward Bound Program attended the Summer Scholars Session at UWA June 1 through July 8. The summer residential component is designed to closely simulate the college experience, giving students an opportunity to attend classes taught by college professors, live in the UWA residence halls, study in a collegiate library, eat in the campus cafeteria, and enjoy a wide array of extracurricular activities.

As part of the exciting week underclassmen who completed the 10th and 11th grades last year took a full slate of non-credit enrichment classes including English, advanced math, trigonometry, biology, chemistry, computer science, Spanish, literary analysis, and career exploration. Upperclassmen who recently graduated from high school are known as Bridge Students, and they earned their first 6 hours of college credit enrolled in Sociology 100 and Speech 100 along with other UWA college students. In addition to attending classes, all students also attended a mandatory daily study hall. Once the academic day was done, students enjoyed evening activities typical of college offerings. Debates, basketball games, bingo for books, guest speakers, choir rehearsal, dance practice, a Greek step show, a student talent show and pageant, a pool party, movie night, a dance, cultural activities, and various workshops are just a sampling of the non-stop extracurricular opportunities that took place over the course of the summer.

The final week of the summer session each year is reserved for UB’s College to Career Seminar. Campus visits to three Tuscaloosa colleges, the University of Alabama, Stillman, and Shelton State, began the week’s activities, which culminated in a two-day career fair. Speakers for the final two days represented a wide range of career options, and students learned about the speakers’ college background and day-to-day responsibilities in their given field. Speakers included York Drug Pharmacist Steven Pool, West Alabama Bank&Trust Loan Officer Tommy Bryan, Marengo County District Court Judge Wade Drinkard, UWA Director of Athletic Training Dr. R.T. Floyd, State Farm Insurance Agent A.J. McCampbell, Lake LU Manager and Environmentalist Roger Limerick, UWA Head Football Coach Sam McCorkle, Sumter County Record-Journal journalist Jay Russell, East Mississippi Community College biology instructor Jay Johnson, Worldwide Travel Agent Ryan Prather, UWA Dean of Liberal Arts Dr. Michael Cooke, and Sumter County DHR social worker Jackie Hines.

The Upward Bound Summer Scholars Awards Night Ceremony on Saturday, July 9th marked the official end of the 2005 Summer Session. Upward Bound staff, faculty, friends, and family gathered in Bibb Graves Auditorium for a formal awards ceremony honoring the Upward Bound Summer Scholars with certificates of achievement, academic awards, and trophies. (Award winners are listed below, and photos are attached.)

Upward Bound Director Vicki P. Spruiell, Counselor Stephanie T. Hyche, Academic Coordinator Mitzi F. Gates, Tutor Coordinator Natashia Hutchins, and Secretary Liza Lard congratulate the Summer Scholars of 2005 on their achievements. The Upward Bound Residence Hall Staff, UWA undergraduate and graduate students Latoya Dill, Eric Hines, Cheulekene Mita, Taiwo Togun, Jason Branch, Rickie Sallie, Kimberly Morris, Melissa Johnson, and Patrick Johnson add their congratulations and best wishes to this fine group of Upward Bound students.