Thursday, May 24, 2012

Starr County Students Shine at Regional Upward Bound Bowl

South Texas College Upward Bound Program students had the opportunity to host the regional Upward Bound Academic Challenge Bowl at STC’s Starr County Campus this spring. The 65 Roma, Rio Grande and La Grulla high school students involved in the program hosted more than 250 high school students from as far away as Uvalde in a daylong celebration of academics and sports.

“The point of the bowl is to encourage our students to put their talents and abilities to the test,” explained program coordinator Delicia Ramirez. “They compete in a series of academic competitions including math, science, spelling, ready-writing, poetry interpretation, persuasive speaking and artistic expression. The students look forward to this all year long.”

STC’s Starr County Campus Upward Bound Program is a federally funded grant program for low income and first generation college students. It provides the students with supplemental instruction and tutoring, preparing them to enter and succeed in post-secondary education.

“I competed in the college bowl and it’s pretty exciting,” said ninth grader from Valze Amador, who is with the Southwest Texas Junior College UB Program. “The experience was pretty fun.”

Eric Sigluero, a sophomore with the Texas A&M Corpus Christi UB Program said, “I was pretty pumped about this. I’ve been studying for a month to prepare for the competition. It’s been hard work, but I think we will do well.”

The students competed against other Upward Bound programs from Coastal Bend College, Southwest Texas Junior, Texas A&M Corpus Christi and Texas State Technical College. The UB Bowl took place all day and ended with an awards ceremony in the evening, where students were awarded trophies for placing in their respective events. The students then enjoyed dinner and dancing after a day’s hard work of competition.

“It was fun! This being my senior year made it more memorable. I’m glad I was able to participate,” said STC UB Program student Cindy Marroquin.

“It was UB south Texas style! From the academics to the banquet, it was great,” said Jorge Ayala, STC UB Program student.

STC UB Program students took top ranks in the competitions. In Science 11, covering chemistry and physics, Julieta Villarreal took first place, Ana Luis Villarreal took second place and Erick Guerra took third place. In Math 1, covering algebra and geometry, Jose Alexis Gonzalez took second place. In Math 11, which required knowledge of algebra, trigonometry and pre-calculus, Esteban Gavina took second place. In Ready Writing, Karina Segovia took first place and Cindy Marroquin took third place. In Poetry Interpretation, Arelly Mendez took first place and in Persuasive Speaking, Abiel Cantu took first place. The students took second place in the softball competition.

“The students really enjoyed the competition,” said Ramirez. “They learned a lot about what they were capable of and how important team work is. They also learned about time management in preparing for the events and balancing that with their school work and home life. All of these are very important skills for college success later on. We are so proud of each of them and their dedication to working toward their college goals.”

For more information about STC’s Upward Bound Program contact Ramirez at 956-716-4735.

Photo caption:
Some of the student participants in the UB Bowl held recently at STC’s Starr County Campus.

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