U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter Talks With Upward Bound Students

U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter Talks With Upward Bound Students

Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Cody Forsberg listens to Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH)speak Cody Forsberg, 21, of Manchester came to hear U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH)speak on the University of New Hampshire's TRIO Upward Bound program on Tuesday, July 30, 2013.

After nearly six weeks on campus, high school students from around the state heard from a nonacademic about the importance of college. 

Participants in UNH's 2013 Upward Bound summer program took a break from classes Tuesday when alum and U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter dropped by to offer words of encouragement. 

“I remember working in the dining halls at 5:30 in the morning, and working at night, and in factories and as a chambermaid and I got through because I wanted to and needed to and you will, too,” Shea-Porter said. “Wherever you want to go, you will get there and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.” 

Part of the U.S. Department of Education’s TRIO Programs, Upward Bound serves students who are either low-income and/or potential first-generation college students by helping them realize their dream of going to college and being successful once they get there. 

UNH junior Cody Forsberg, a Manchester resident, heeded advice similar to Shea-Porter’s when he was a sophomore in high school and became involved with Upward Bound. This year he was with the group as a tutor and mentor.

“If not for Upward Bound, I wouldn’t have known anything about college,” the social work major said. Forsberg will be the first in his family to graduate from college. “It helped me decide what I want to do. I had no idea before.” 

Manchester High School senior Nicolette Dante credits Upward Bound for bringing out leadership skills she didn’t know she had, and for making her more focused on her future. 

“I’ve become a strong leader now where, before, I was the shy girl sitting in the corner. Now, I feel like I can talk to anyone about anything,” said Dante, one of the 80-plus students participating in Upward Bound at UNH. 

Dante has two younger sisters and hopes they will follow in her footsteps. 

“My mother is head-on, full support of me going to college. She wants me to be the first one of us to graduate college—she wants me to be a role model for my sisters,” Dante said. 

Shea-Porter addressed the students during an unscheduled stop at the university, specifically to urge them to continue their studies. 

“I want to tell you how much opportunity you have. You’ve got the spirit and the fight in you and you’ve got the vision,” she said. “That’s all you need—that and a willingness to work hard.” 

Attending the six-week summer program was testament of all that. Abriana Smith, an incoming UNH freshman, called the classes she has been taking “phenomenal.” 

“They’ve been just phenomenal and I feel like they are preparing me for when I start in the fall,” she said. The Farmington resident has been involved with Upward Bound since her freshman year of high school. 

“It’s really helped me so much with my college decisions,” Smith says. “I even wrote my college essay about the program.” 

“Rep. Shea-Porter believes our young are our nation's metaphorical seed corn and failing to provide sufficient funding and commitment to education amounts to eating that seed corn instead of planting it. By encouraging our students she is helping save our seed corn, our young, so that they can grow into the future leaders and contributors our nation so desperately needs,” said Dan Gordon, director of Upward Bound.

For more information about the program visit http://www.upwardbound.unh.edu/.