Alumni >> Noteworthy Alumni
alumnus of Upward Bound at Keene State College
2006 - I grew up in Keene, NH, the daughter of a working single mother and a sporadically available father. We would definitely be categorized as solidly working class. When I was in high school my older sister became involved in the Upward Bound program. My mother recognized that Upward Bound was the only way the two of us would be able to go to college, so as soon as I was eligible, I applied. I knew that I wanted to go to college but I had no idea what it took to get there.
Upward Bound forced me to live and work together in an intimate setting with other students my own age and from similar backgrounds. This interaction and the classes that I took really helped me to become that much more confident. I became aware of my own independence and leadership skills. During the school year , I had an academic year counselor, Susie Margraf, who was so much more than a college counselor. Most kids in high school meet with their college counselor once or twice a year. I met with Susie once or twice a week from sophomore year through senior year. These meetings were absolutely necessary on an academic and emotional level. First, I did not know what it was going to take to get into college, financially or academically. Susie knew the classes I was going to need, what schools I could likely get admitted to, and what kind of financial aid I was going to need in order to attend the school of my choice. I know there is no way that I would have made it to Trinity College in Hartford, CT, if it hadn’t been for Susie. My mother was certainly in no place to take me on college tours or to know how to fill out financial aid forms. Susie has continued to be this emotional support throughout my life.
Currently, I am in my third year of law school and will graduate this coming May. When I graduate, I will be the first person in my family to get a professional degree. I start a clerkship with Judge John Ramsey Johnson on the D.C. Superior Court starting in August. Upon completion of my clerkship, I would like to return to NH and work for either the federal government as a U.S. Attorney or work for the state government as a State’s Attorney. My major career goal is to be an appellate attorney arguing cases before the Supreme Court.
There is no way, ten years ago, that I would have had the confidence to know that I could achieve that goal. It is because of Upward Bound that I am where I am today.