Upward Bound Staff

Ophrah Payne     Ophrah Payne
TRIO Upward Bound


Ophrah Payne has previously worked with TRIO programs prior to her appointment as Coordinator for TRIO Upward Bound at the University of Memphis. Ophrah's leadership philosophy has been developed over many years of public service to the communities and residents of the city of Memphis. Ophrah has been a public servant her entire career and views it as a calling rather than simply a career choice. She has received both her B.S.P. in Health Administration from the University of Memphis and M.S. in Economic Development from the University of Southern Mississippi. A loyal advocate of student development, particularly for first generation, low income, and students with disabilities, Payne has dedicated her professional life to serving underserved youth.

Kierra Joy     Kierra Joy
Success Coach
TRIO Upward Bound


I am a first-generation student, who received my Bachelor's of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology from Union University. During my undergraduate years, I served as a student mentor for a collegiate leadership and scholarship program, EXCEL, in partnership with the Memphis Leadership Foundation. As a native Memphian and once a recipient of a TRIO Upward Bound program, I recognize the need for consistent access to educational and financial literacy resources for academic and future career success in this area. Now, as part of the TRIO Upward Bound/Success Coach program, I am determined to assist in equipping Memphis' underserved youth and ensuring that they are prepared for the future ahead of them.