Jacksonville University Upward Bound students recently seized the chance to practice leadership, sportsmanship and teamwork skills, all while winning gold medals in a friendly competitive environment.
Activities at the 45th annual Florida Upward Bound Olympics offered positive recreational, social, cultural and educational pursuits to the students in JU Upward Bound, a program that provides support to participants in their preparation for college entrance.
Each year, the Olympics are held at a different college or university, said Cecilia L. Severin, JU Upward Bound Program Director. This year they were held July 17-19 at Florida A&M University, with support from Florida State University.
“The games are designed as a motivational collegial experience for the participants, and all of the activities help the students explore positive recreational, social, cultural and educational pursuits as possible lifelong learning activities,” Severin said.
Over the course of the three days, the JU Upward Bound students took part in many different events and won a significant number of awards, Severin said. With six weeks of practice and preparation this summer at JU, they took home gold medals in creative writing and spades; silver medals in soccer, volleyball, and women’s basketball; bronze medals in art and photography.
“Through it all, the students developed friendships and mutual respect among their fellow competitors from other programs throughout the state, winning or losing each event ‘the right way,’ ” Severin said.