July 25, 2008

Trip offers insights for Upward Bound students

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Students participating in Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Project Upward Bound next week will have the opportunity to experience American history and tour historic colleges.

About 40 high school students from Carbondale, Murphysboro, Mounds, Tamms, Cairo and Ullin, along with seven program staff, are traveling to Indiana and Kentucky Monday through Wednesday, July 28-30. The trip is the culmination of a six-week residential program designed to help prepare students academically and in other ways for college.

“This trip will give the students not only an opportunity to visit colleges but it gives them an up-close look at history as they go to the Muhammad Ali Center and the Kentucky Derby Museum,” said K. Donnell Wilson, Upward Bound project director.

The students will tour Evansville University in Evansville, Ind. Established in 1854, the university has a longstanding commitment to inclusiveness. From there, it’s on to the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Ken. The museum, bearing its founder’s name, is an international education and cultural facility promoting hope and understanding.

Upward Bound participants will also visit the University of Louisville. A self-guided tour of the Kentucky Derby Museum will allow the students to explore the newly expanded museum highlighting the classic horse race. They’ll see the grandstand, winner’s circle and more as they visit the historic Churchill Downs and view a miniature horse and the facility’s resident thoroughbred. A stop at the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory in Louisville is also on the schedule. It’ll give the teens a chance to see how since 1884 the company has crafted the official bat of Major League Baseball.

Upward Bound students will also enjoy some fun leisure time activities too, including a visit to the Hard Rock Cafe in Louisville and a visit to Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari.

Project Upward Bound is an federally funded academic assistance program.