Students who attended the Upward Bound Program on the campus of Winston-Salem State University during the years 1975 through 1998 are invited to attend the next planning meeting for an upcoming reunion. The meeting will be held on Saturday, June 22 at the Panera Bread on Miller Street at 1 p.m.
The first meeting was held on Saturday, May 25 with Felecia Piggott-Long, Marcia Piggott, Peggy Bitting–Hale, Nell Perry and Vera Jordan in attendance, along with Addie Hymes, the former director of the program. The goal is to have the reunion during Memorial Day weekend 2014.
“Hopefully, this will give us time to reconnect with all of the students who are interested in attending,” said Hymes. “I’m sure Facebook can help contact many of our students.”
In 1965, the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), under the authority of Title IV of the Higher Education Act, conceptualized Upward Bound programs as a special type of entity. These programs were designed to generate skills and motivation necessary for success in secondary and post-secondary education for youth from low income families. Although these youth have academic potential, they lack adequate secondary school preparation and effort toward their success.
“Upward Bound has made a difference for all of us who were first-generation college students,” said Piggott-Long. “I would say that Mrs. Hymes created a program that became a precursor to what we know today as charter schools.”
In 1965, WSSU was the only college in North Carolina with an Upward Bound program. At that time, it was all-male, and the director was the late Dr. Archie Blount. In 1975, when her family relocated from Milwaukee, Wisc., Hymes was named director of the program and continued the tradition of excellence by enhancing the program in many ways.
She always wanted the students to be empowered to travel. Over the years, Upward Bound students have traveled to Atlanta, Washington, D.C., New York, New Orleans, Orlando, Nashville and the Bahamas.