Testimonial - Katerion Pender


My name is Katerion Pender. I am an 18-year-old Sheffield High School/ U of M Upward Bound Graduate. My whole life growing up I considered myself the smartest of all my mother's children, so that equipped me to take the initiative to better myself and situation. In my household, C's were hardly acceptable, and B's were even positively questioned sometimes. Everything that my mom taught & sacrificed for me was for my own well-being. I have always had a strong interest in college, bur due to my financial situation, I did not know how I would complete the task. So, one day I was informed about the Upward Bound Program by a friend of mine, but I still wasn't sure of how to properly apply, until I was introduced to Ms. Ophrah Payne in one of the offices in my school. Ms. Payne gave me a thorough, yet brief description of what the program offers. After soaking up the information I gathered from the meeting with Ms. Payne, I acknowledged the fact that my mom would not be able to afford to further my education alone, so I figured this program will change that.

My Upward Bound experiences began with the Saturday Academies, then flowed into the Summer Component which consisted of me staying on campus for two weeks which acted as a "small college simulation". Throughout the Summer Component, we took classes and had responsibilities such as waking up each morning on our own accord just like regular college students. Furthermore, the program was very beneficial because of the components that the program concentrated on such as scholarships, financial aid, housing, studies, etc. Being a First-Generation Student, there is quite a sense of pressure to succeed. The University of Memphis Upward Bound Program has comfortably changed that for me. It is a great program to be a part of, and I am happy to have enrolled and set to begin classes in the Fall of 2018. Go Tigers!