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Higher Education
Upward Bound students celebrate graduation
News Release
Thursday, May 26, 2011

HOUSTON — The first-ever graduating class of San Jacinto College’s (SJC) Upward Bound Math and Science (UBMS) program recently celebrated its inaugural commencement ceremony at the College’s North campus.

SJC launched the innovative program four years ago to help selected high school students excel in math and science, while also preparing the students to succeed in college.

UBMS is a collaboration between SJC and high schools in the Channelview, Sheldon and Galena Park school districts. Selected students from the public schools are carefully monitored and diligently piloted through their high school years, beginning in the ninth grade. Workshops at the College help the high school students with study skills, test taking, dealing with procrastination, and similar issues. A SJC student advisor also works closely with the students and their parents to ensure the students are meeting the program’s high academic and discipline standards through their high school years. The program also features educational field trips.

Upward Bound students do not attend a special school, but rather attend traditional classes in area high schools. Their high school education is enhanced with supplemental curriculum, field trips, summer sessions, and workshops. Resources are available to them at the College to further assist their needs.

The UBMS program is only available to students who meet specific qualifications – those who are first generation (the first in a family) who will attend college, those who live in low-income households, and those who have been identified as having high academic potential.

Jacqueline Howard, the College’s UBMS director, congratulated the students and encouraged them to be diligent about attending college. “This is a particularly special occasion because you are the very first Upward Bound students to graduate,” she commented. “We are proud of your achievements and hope to hear about more achievements in college.” Students who remain in the UBMS program from grades nine through 12 are not obligated to attend SJC after graduating from high school, but several of the students who attended the graduation ceremony do plan to enroll at the College.

Howard says there is high demand in America for young people who major in math and science. “That’s the reason the focus area of this program is math and science,” she remarked. “Students who pursue careers that require math and science skills will not have to worry about finding good jobs. The demand is very high and the jobs are out there.”

The first-ever UBMS graduating class from Galena Park High School includes Yvonne Barrientos (UBMS valedictorian), Eva Diaz, Benito Galvan, Mauricio Marron, Danielle Mayorga, and Juan Segura.

UBMS graduates from North Shore High School include Alexander Alfaro, Daniella Alvarado (NSHS), Mery Arce (NSHS), Borna Baktash (NSHS), Anne Belza (NSHS), Chelsea Blake, Alexander Cancel, Elsie Cervantes, Keonna Charles, Krystin Clark, Alexander Clayton, Carina Delgado, Mercedes Garcia, Monica Garza, Daniel George, LaMicha Jackson, Tayler Jefferson, Tiara Kirksey, Taylor Lyons, Mac Nghiem, Elidee Pecina, Ryan Perez, Sadie Pierson, Nelson Ramos, Morgan VanBibber, Eduardo Villarreal, and Amber Wilrich.

UBMS graduates from C.E. King High School include Everth Chicas, Whitney Cosey, Zachary Cruz, Donzaile Hall, Justine Johnson, Michael Lang, Joshua Mishio, and Tantiana Tingle.

UBMS graduates from Channelview High School include Destiny Green, David Hernandez, Cristina Lainez, Shakayla Nunez, Jessica Taylor, Marissa Villarreal, and Fabius Watson.

About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for nearly 50 years. We are committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of more than 29,000 students in over 140 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career-track choices. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of ever-changing industry in the region. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.

For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150, visit, or find us on Facebook at

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