Students ‘bound’ to get degree

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

Yuridia Leyva told the Clovis Municipal Schools Board of Education Tuesday that she has done something her family has discouraged her from doing — taking the SAT and ACT.

Leyva, a Clovis High School senior, is part of the Upward Bound program, which helps low-income, first generation college-bound students complete their college education. The program also pays for SAT and ACT tests.

“Coming from a low-income and first generation family, college entrance exams are not encouraged in my family,” she said. “So I probably wouldn’t be taking it if it weren’t for Upward Bound.”

Directors of the Clovis Community College and Eastern New Mexico University Upward Bound program presented board members with information about the program during the board of education meeting.

Of the 65 students in the ENMU Upward Bound program, 25 are from Clovis, according to ENMU Upward Bound director Susan Cramp. She said there is still room for more students.

Cramp said the programs provide tutors and college tours for students. In the summer, students can take part in a six-week residential program at ENMU.

CCC Upward Bound director Ashly Baccas said the two local Upward Bound programs can help more students reach college as they work together.

The Upward Bound programs do not recruit for the institutions they represent, according to Cramp.

“We are recruiting for education,” she said. “We want our students to go wherever they want to go.”

Leyva said the Upward Bound program offers her motivation she doesn’t have at home.

“And the motivation they give me, I can pass on to my little brothers and my little sisters,” she said.

In other business:

—Board members approved a $21,474 bid to build a walking track for Barry Elementary.

The track will be about five feet wide and about a quarter of a mile long around the playground.

Clovis Municipal School District Superintendent Rhonda Seidenwurm said the elementary school will pay for the track with money it received from grants and fundraisers.

—Seidenwurm updated board members on capital outlay projects the district will ask legislators to fund.

The school district will ask legislators for $330,000 for heating, ventilation and air conditioning units for Lockwood Elementary, $300,000 for fencing and door locks for Clovis High School and $100,000 to refurbish Clovis High School Freshman Campus’ football field.