BMCC’s Upward Bound Hits a Home Run with Carla Ni

Carla Ni is a very happy and successful student. She is attending Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts. BMCC’s Upward Bound Project helped Carla with the skills and motivation necessary for her to complete her high school education and to go on to college.

Carla NiCarla Ni was born in the United States but was brought up as a youngster in Fu Zhou, China, across from the Straits of Taiwan. When her family returned to the U.S. and settled in New York City, her parents worked as storekeepers and their income level met Upward Bound standards.

Growing up, Carla excelled in elementary, intermediate, and high school and was accepted to BMCC’s Upward Bound Project. According to Antonette McKain, BMCC’s Director of Upward Bound, the program is especially designed for people like Carla.

McKain says, “Upward Bound supports eligible students to complete high school, like Carla, in their preparation for college entrance. The program provides opportunities for participants to succeed in their pre-college performance and ultimately in their higher education pursuits. Upward Bound serves high school students from low-income families and high school students from families in which neither parent holds a bachelor’s degree. The goal of Upward Bound is to increase the rate at which participants complete secondary education and enroll in and graduate from institutions of postsecondary education.”

Carla says that while her parents were skeptical about the program she worked year-round with the staff at BMCC’s Upward Bound to keep her grades up, study for the SATs, take Regents prep classes, and go on interstate college tours. But, she recalls, BMCC’s Upward Bound “was also like a second-family, using a holistic approach to education, with BMCC workshop leaders working with me on subject matter classes and going the extra mile by taking me to plays, making me aware of time management and individually assisting me in setting goals and strategies for success. BMCC’s Upward Bound made me think about an ‘action plan’ for my future.”

Ms. Ni is now a junior at Babson College, which is recognized internationally for its entrepreneurial leadership in a changing global environment. Carla is majoring in Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management and intends to participate in a New Zealand study abroad program in the fall. She will graduate with a BS degree in May of 2008. Recently, Carla addressed a group of BMCC Upward Bounders who visited Babson and provided them an information session and a campus tour.

Carla says her family is now overjoyed at her success and happy that she has received a full-tuition scholarship from Babson, which her mother and father could hardly afford. She says, it was Upward Bound that showed her that there was “more to life and I have to pursue it for myself. Thank you BMCC and Upward Bound for nurturing individuals like myself.”