Angie McCoy, an assistant professor and director of the MBA program in Newman University’s School of Business, taught leadership to 17 high school students through Upward Bound Wichita Prep this summer.
The program provides limited-income and potential first-generation college students with the opportunity to improve their academic, social and personal skills while preparing for a post-secondary education.
Upward Bound Wichita Prep is available to 75 freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors from USD 259. The program consists of both an academic year and a summer residential component with each serving to motivate and encourage students to successfully complete high school and attend college.
“I found these students to be bright and engaging and I looked forward to each of my class sessions with them,” McCoy said. “In the leadership course, the students learned about emotional intelligence, personal leadership development and how to find common ground when engaging in difficult conversations. It was a joy to see all of the students develop in their own leadership journeys.”
Envisioning a future at Newman
On July 13, McCoy invited the students to visit Newman’s campus to help them learn more about college life, Newman’s unique student support services and why Newman might be the right place for them to continue their education.
Admissions counselor Joshua Prilliman, a 2014 graduate of Newman, helped put on a special tour for the Upward Bound students.
“I was told that this visit needed to be different than most of our campus visits, so I wanted to put the visiting students in a Newman student’s shoes even if just for 20 minutes to start the day,” he explained. “I was able to recreate a Jet Friday feel and have donuts for the students when they arrived. They had time to sit down and mingle with some of the staff and faculty, as well as play ping pong and pool in the student center.”
Newman’s president, Kathleen Jagger, Ph.D., MPH, also stopped by to greet students and talk about her own journey to the university.
Students visited Fugate Gymnasium, where they talked about Newman’s athletic programs with Mendel Folefac, the graduate assistant men’s basketball coach.
Then they stopped by Bishop Gerber Science Center, where Director of Multicultural Engagement and Campus Life Enid Ortiz spoke about how to prep for college by applying for scholarships and what resources they have access to at their high schools.
Additionally, Candace Davis, coordinator of Advanced Standing at Newman, got to tell the students about opportunities they have in high school to take classes that can count for college credit, while Director of Career Services Sarah Rupp rounded out the powerhouse trio with all the resources Newman offers for career services.
“I was the last one to step in front of the whole group, and I got to tell my life experiences I have had myself, using the concepts of ‘not everyone has it all together when they get to college, and ideas and plans change, but that won’t stop someone from being successful,’” Prilliman said.
Prilliman’s biggest hope was that the Upward Bound students left the visit thinking that Newman is an option for them as future college students.
“I hope we were able to fan the flames of their desires to continue pushing ahead in the educational life and their own personal life,” Prilliman said. “We all spoke about how we are a family here, and I hope they felt that from every single one of us.”
For the 17 students who took McCoy’s leadership course and visited Newman’s campus, both experiences were beneficial.
“Angie’s leadership sessions have helped me understand not just to assume a lot of things, to make observations and see things differently,” said Wichita West High School senior Isaac Duran. “I’d really recommend the Upward Bound program to any other student. Even though it’s hard, the end result is worth it.”
Wichita Southeast High School junior Luvley Williams enjoyed how the program helped her meet new people and learn better communication strategies.
“For me since I’m an introverted person, this was a way to ease myself into socializing,” she said.
Newman connections with Upward Bound
Mai Dao, a senior at Newman and Upward Bound summer staff member, hopes that her involvement helped the students learn more about the benefits of college.
“Upward Bound is very impactful because [students have] a lot of resources as a first-generation and low-income student,” she explained. “[When I was part of it] they provided resources that aided me throughout the school and furthermore outside of school.”
McCoy said the campus visit was a success, and that she was grateful for the opportunity to connect Newman to the leaders-in-the-making.
“They’re great students, and I can’t wait to see how far they will go,” McCoy said.
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