Upward Bound students score top prize at New York Scholars Bowl

November 10, 2016

A team of SUNY Adirondack Upward Bound students won the 11th annual New York Scholars Bowl at Genesee Community College.

The seven competing teams from four New York colleges had to answer questions on a variety of topics, including English, science, pop culture and the college application and financial aid process. The Jeopardy-like competition, held in October, was part of a college day that featured a campus tour and information sessions for high school students participating in New York Upward Bound programs.

SUNY Adirondack’s Upward Bound introduces high school students from Fort Ann, Fort Edward, Glens Falls, Hudson Falls and South Glens Falls to college through academic and social activities.

“The purpose of Upward Bound is to help low-income and first-generation students learn the skills and motivation necessary to graduate from high school and enroll in college. In our changing economy, having a college degree is more important than ever,” said Kelsey Lorusso, project director of SUNY Adirondack’s Upward Bound. “We are here to help these students and their families navigate the complex world of college admissions and financial aid, as well as provide academic support and the opportunity to experience new things. Upward Bound is here to help remove barriers and guide these students to a better life for not only themselves but for their families.”

In 2015, 75 percent of SUNY Adirondack Upward Bound students received an Advanced Regents Diploma. Students who complete the diploma are most likely college ready and will not have to take non-credit developmental classes.

SUNY Adirondack’s Scholars Bowl team members included Addison Winch and Tessa Camp of Fort Ann Central School and Matthew Thung and Savannah Minor of Glens Falls High School. The students completed against teams from Genesee Community College, Monroe Community College and University of Rochester.

“I am so proud of them. They went into the competition just wanting to do their best, without expectations of actually winning,” Lorusso said. “These particular students are fairly reserved, so I had no idea how well they were doing during the competition. The most rewarding thing for me to see was the look of confidence on their faces when they won. I know how smart they are, but I am so happy that they can see it now, too.”