Friday, December 1, 2023
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HomeNewsSummer program offers college prep, leadership skills, cultural experiences

Summer program offers college prep, leadership skills, cultural experiences

Feather River College’s Upward Bound program announces that its 2023 six-week summer program was a success, with a total of 15 high school students from throughout Plumas County participating.

“The intent of the summer program is to give Upward Bound participants a college simulation experience, while building leadership skills, keeping their academic skills sharp, and broadening their cultural horizons,” said Upward Bound Director Audrey Selby.

The program kicked off with a week of leadership development activities including a visit to the Project Discovery high ropes course on Mount Rose (in the pouring rain!); a Feather River College campus cleanup service project; climbing facilitated by FRC Outdoor Recreation Leadership students and ORL instructor Saylor Flett at FRC’s climbing gym; and many games and discussions lead by Selby and Upward Bound staff Patty Llamas and Brendan O’Reilly. 

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Following leadership week, students participated in four weeks of instruction on the FRC campus including classes in math, science, language arts, Spanish, and college life skills. Every Friday students engaged in experiential learning off campus with field trips.

The science field trip took students to learn about the flora, fauna, and geology in Plumas-Eureka State Park and the math field trip took students geocaching using GPS to find treasures in the Quincy, Meadow Valley, and Bucks Lake areas. For the Spanish field trip, students took a Spanish-speaking tour of the Nevada Museum of Art, toured a tortilla factory, and sampled pastries at a Guatemalan bakery. However, Selby reported that most students said their favorite Friday field trip was attending a performance of “Little Shop of Horrors” on the shore of Lake Tahoe at the Tahoe Shakespeare Festival for their language arts field trip.

Many campus and community members served as guest speakers this summer in the College Life Skills classes. The director of FRC’s Disability Support Program for Students, Sarah Dimick, and the TRIO director, Billy Ogle, spoke about their programs and the services offered not only on the FRC campus, but on most college campuses. Dave Tweedle, the FRC fleet mechanic, provided students with a hands-on lesson in basic car maintenance that included a demonstration on changing a flat tire.

Liz Ramsey of Plumas Audubon and technology entrepreneur Steve Hill each spoke to students about their careers and offered advice about students’ path in college. Plumas Bank’s Cassidy Miller shared lessons about money/bank account management and the basics of credit. In addition to guest speakers, Upward Bound staff also taught college life skills lessons on various topics such as managing a budget, public transportation etiquette, note-taking, time management, stress management, and self-care. 

The grand finale of the summer program was the college tour, in which students traveled to the Sacramento area; stayed in the Sacramento State University dormitories; and toured UC Davis, Sacramento State University, and Sierra College. While on the trip, students also toured the California State Capitol and went to the Sacramento History Museum, where they participated in an underground tour of the city. While in the city students also tried Thai and Greek food, went bowling, and attended a Sacramento Broadway performance of “The Addams Family.” 

“As you might imagine, the Upward Bound participants that attended the summer program also developed friends that they may not have otherwise — strengthening their network of peers with the common goal of attending college after high school,” said Selby. 

Although the six-week summer program concluded at the end of July, two outstanding student participants were placed in internships for the month of August. Upward Bound organized these internships to give participants the opportunity to learn more about their area of potential career interest. Twelfth-grade participant Simone Smith is interning with District Attorney David Hollister to learn more about the law profession, and eleventh-grade participant Cyrus Stevens is interning with FRC’s information technology department to learn more about careers in IT. 

To learn more about Upward Bound, get a schedule of weekly Upward Bound lunch meetings at each high school, or find out how students can join Upward Bound, visit or call the Upward Bound office at FRC at (530) 283-0202, extension 266.

Information submitted by Upward Bound

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