Upward Bound Alumni Spotlight

Calvin L. Payne, Jr.

Years in Upward Bound: 1996-1998?

Since the Upward Bound Program...
  • May 2002 - I graduated from Talladega College with a B.A. degree in music performance voice with a minor in education
  • September 2002 - I became the Choral Director at my old high school, Booker T. Washington where I was music instructor for two years
  • August 2004-06 - I moved to Atlanta, worked for Verizon Wireless  briefly while pursuing music as a Singer/Songwriter (www.calvinpayne.com)
  • 2006 - my first album was released titled CALVIN PAYNE: Better Man  which is currently being sold at www.cdbaby.com/calvinpayne
  • 2008 - I made my first national television debut on BET's 106 & Park  Wild Out Wednesdays performing a song I wrote from my first album
  • 2008-2011 - I began working in the banking industry with Guaranty Financial  where I was employed for three years as a manager before moving to SunTrust Bank
  • 2011 - I moved to SunTrust  which is where I am currently employed as a Client Service Specialist II
  • July 2011 - I started my own artist management and development company NIVLAC Production Company (www.nivlacproductioncompany.com)
  • 2012 - I enrolled at Strayer University to get my Master's in Human Resource Management with a concentration in Human Resource-Generalist

What I remember most about Upward Bound...
What I remember most are the opportunities it gave me as a singer. I remember still to this day how Mrs. Woodson asked me to sing the national anthem at TRiO Day. I was always so afraid of being in front of people, and here I was surrounded by thousands of people and faced with a chance of a lifetime. I am very thankful for that moment and the other chances I had to display my talent. Mrs. Woodson, Ms. Lewis, Ms. Isom, Mrs. Tarver, and last but not least, Mr. Bernard Cadle (R.I.P.) all taught me how to believe in myself. That anything I wanted was possible and having a degree would make those dreams more tangible. I will forever be grateful for being in the Upward Bound Program and what it brought to a little black boy from Tuskegee's life.  Thank You, THANK YOU !!!!!!! 

Kwastina S. Jackson

Years in Upward Bound: 2000-2004

Since the Upward Bound Program...
I am a high school math teacher at Leeds High School. I received my B.S. in Mathematics/Mathematics Education from Miles College and my M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction K-12 Mathematics from Concordia University.

What I remember most about Upward Bound...
Upward Bound helped me to cultivate my independent spirit which really aided in my success collegiately.  They also gave me tools that helped me throughout life in general.

C.J. Battle

Years in Upward Bound: 1994-1999

Since the Upward Bound Program...
Through the UB Bridge program, I had a much easier transition to becoming a student at Tuskegee University. While there, I gained experience in Material Science research, Systems Engineering, leadership, diplomacy and graduated with a B.S. in Physics and minors in Chemical Engineering and Business Administration. After graduating, I took a Leave-of-Absence from engineering to teach Mathematics at Booker T. Washington High School. Afterwards, I returned to work in my current role as a Systems Engineer for an Aerospace and Defense Company in Arizona. As an individual and a member of several organizations, I am also highly involved in local and national civic issues.

What I remember most about Upward Bound...
The program and staff reinforced my desire to attend college and even showed me how to get there; because I certainly did not know. They helped me realize the potential that I had within me. Upward Bound also played an integral role in helping me develop my social skills. When I first joined UB, I would only speak when spoken to. It helped that the staff encouraged me to interact more with students from other schools, to become engaged with tour guides on field trips and it helped that our teachers were so nice. Now, I am a known strategist and sought out for my networking skills as well as my technical skills. For these reasons and more, I am forever grateful for the Upward Bound program and staff. 

LaQuinta Patterson

Years in Upward Bound: 1996-1998

Since the Upward Bound Program...
I joined the military where I have served 12 years, went on 2 combat tours to Iraq and Kuwait. I have completed college with a degree in education. I currently teach at a Christian academy in Phenix City, AL where I live. I have a 7-yr old son and another one due any day now.

What I remember most about Upward Bound...
The summer program was epic. It provided a home away from home with the ultimate mother in Mrs. Woodson.

Teyei Datiri

Years in Upward Bound: 1997-2000

Since the Upward Bound Program...
After Upward Bound I attended Tuskegee University and was able to graduate from TU with a degree in Biology. With my degree I had the opportunity to work in the field of science in the areas of of research, education, and safety. Currently I am work at Auburn University under the department of Risk Management and Safety where I am a Lab Safety Technician. I am also enrolled at Troy University where I am working on my masters in Post-Secondary Education with a concentration in Instruction Technology.

What I remember most about Upward Bound...
My past experience is more like advice. No matter how good you are as a person, how well you perform academically, or in any other area, do not fall into the pressure of your peers. If you just so happen to do so, learn your lesson and do better! You will never achieve in being better if you never attempt to do better. I am grateful for Upward Bound because it taught me various life lessons while exposing me to so many educational experiences. Thank you Mrs. Woodson and Upward Bound!


Tamara Hall

Years in Upward Bound: 2002-2005

Since the Upward Bound Program...
I was commissioned into the military in May 2009 and was recently promoted to captain. One deployment to Iraq to close down bases. A member of the last brigade combat team in Iraq (Operation New Dawn), Camp Buehring Kuwait serving as strategic reserve (Operation Spartan Shield). Deployed out of Fort Hood Texas. I am currently at the Captains Career Course at Fort Lee Virginia.

What I remember most about Upward Bound...
I met some of my best friends via Upward Bound. I make it a priority to visit the program whenever I’m back in Tuskegee and I’m very grateful for the experiences I've learned from Upward Bound.


Lashauna Crayton

Years in Upward Bound: 2007-2008

Since the Upward Bound Program...
I graduated from Tuskegee with a degree in Social Work. I am married and have been for three years now. I am currently a stay at home mother.

What I remember most about Upward Bound...
I enjoyed the summer program the most. I was so excited that we had the opportunity to experience a college student's way of living. The staff is amazing and the program is excellent.

Felicia Owens

Years in Upward Bound: 1996-1999

Since the Upward Bound Program...
I graduated from Tuskegee University with my Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. I taught general education for two years and decided to return to school to pursue my graduate degree. I received my Doctorate degree in Audiology from the University of South Alabama in 2010, and am currently a Clinical Audiologist at an ENT facility at Brookwood Hospital in Birmingham, AL. I am also the Head Audiologist for the Newborn Hearing Screening Department at Brookwood.

What I remember most about Upward Bound...
My fondest memories have been the vast friendships that I have gained from the program, both from those who attended Upward Bound and from those who didn't. I also learned that there is more to life than what I was experiencing as a high school teenager. Without the program, I wouldn't have been exposed to the many opportunities that Upward Bound offered, nor would I have received the education from a prestigious university as Tuskegee University.

Alfreda Patterson

Years in Upward Bound: 1999-2002

Since the Upward Bound Program...
I have been working and maintaining and enjoying life.

What I remember most about Upward Bound...
Upward Bound really helped me a lot, especially when it came down to taking major tests in school. We would have a tutoring session to help us get prepared. The program also taught us how important it is to be on time and getting things done in a timely manner. It also taught us that there was a time to be serious and a time to have fun. I really enjoyed the summers I stayed on the campus--that was a great experience. I got the chance to meet and befriend some wonderful people. Upward Bound was my home away from home, and I loved Momma Woodson. The counselors were wonderful too.

Quantessia Young

Years in Upward Bound: 2007-2011

Since the Upward Bound Program...
I have graduated Troy University recently and I will soon go on to graduate school.

What I remember most about Upward Bound...
Because of the genuine love and care from this program, I was able to go on to college prepared and graduate in four years.

Toya Carter

Years in Upward Bound: 2010-2011

Since the Upward Bound Program...
I have recently graduated Summa Cum Laude from Alabama State University. I received my Bachelors of Art in Visual Arts with a concentration in Graphic Design. While attending ASU, I was a part of various organizations including: W.E.B. DuBois Honors Program, Honda Campus All-Star Challenge, International Student Association, Student Art Association, Kappa Pi International Honorary Art Fraternity, SGA Senator, Alpha Kappa Mu National Honor Society, and Circle K International. I studied abroad at the University of Stirling, Scotland and I interned at A-KEEP.

What I remember most about Upward Bound...
I didn't hear about the Upward Bound program until my junior year of high school, so my time within the program was short, but I enjoyed every moment. Everyone in the program welcomed me with open arms. I still remember meeting my roommate for the summer program of 2010, Shayla and her best friend, Ari. Being new I was super nervous and they made me feel like I fit right in from day one. The trip to the Tuskegee Airmen museum and the George Washington Carver museum helped spark my love, semi-obsession for learning about Black History and getting to walk in the footsteps of giants (in Tuskegee and Montgomery) that much more awesome. This program had a big influence in me choosing to attend an HBCU because of the family-like atmosphere that was there from day one. This experience is one that I will always cherish and am so glad I was given the opportunity to have.
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