Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City

OSU-OKC Upward Bound Students Get a Taste for Helping Others

Resilience. Integrity. Joy.

 

These are the words OSU-OKC Upward Bound Director Francie Moss uses to describe the high school students in her program who recently volunteered their time at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma during their six-week summer visit on the university’s campus.

 

Seventy students and staff spent two hours stuffing two tons of pinto beans and rice, putting together more than 3,200 meals.

 

“We should all do things like this because it makes us good citizens,” Moss says. “We live in a country where many opportunities come our way, but it’s important, particularly for Upward Bound students, because participation in the program doesn’t cost them anything except time and a good attitude.”

 

Several Upward Bound students, many of whom have participated in the program for several years in a row, felt this volunteer opportunity helped them grow as citizens.

 

“I enjoyed the experience because we got to see how the community, in many ways, works together and what it’s for,” said Elia Giner, OSU-OKC Upward Bound student. “I like helping others and experiencing new things.”

 

Other students felt similarly. “It feels good knowing that we’re spending just a couple of hours of our day to put food in bags to give to families that don’t have food,” said Lillian Pham, OSU-OKC Upward Bound student.

 

Student Tresa Nguyen says volunteering made her thankful for what she has. “I feel really blessed for what I do have, as far as food, and I don’t want to take advantage of it. I am grateful. Not everyone has what we have.”

 

Moss is passionate about the program’s success in the young students’ lives and feels the rewards are often immeasurable.

 

“You can’t measure the life skills, the giving back in community service or how to conduct a meeting,” Moss says. “They don’t have a box I get to check for that.”

 

Upward Bound is a federally-funded TRiO program that aims to assist high school students in achieving a college education. For more information about Upward Bound, contact Moss at (405) 945-8626 or visit www.osuokc.edu/upwardbound.

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Pictured are OSU-OKC Upward Bound students and staff during their recent trip to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.