40 high schoolers enjoy summer college experiences

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 24, 2011

Brittany Blakenship, Melanie Kondrat’yev and Spencer Stallworth are among the 40 students attending LBW this summer through the Upward Bound program. | Stephanie Nelson/Star-News

There are 40 students participating in Upward Bound at LBW Community College this year.

Upward Bound is a federally-funded program designed to give first-generation students with a low family income a chance to prepare for college. The program serves nine schools from Crenshaw, Butler and Covington counties for students grades 9-12.

Currently, the students are on the LBW campus participating in the summer residential portion of the program. For six weeks, students have the opportunity to experience “college life,” complete with a stay in a dorm room. Four days a week students attend classes, and in the evenings are treated to group activities such as bowling, before retiring to their “dorm room” at the Andalusia Econo Lodge.

“It’s great,” said Brittany Blakenship, a Greenville High School student. “This is my second year in the program. It’s given me such a great advantage and a great way to get ahead in college. It’s challenging. It really makes you feel grown up. It’s a true college experience.”

Fellow attendees Spencer Stallworth and Melanie Kondrat’yev, both of Red Level, agreed.

“It’s my first time away from home, too. It’s been a great way to meet new people,” Stallworth said.

Kondraty’yev said she’s enjoyed the experience.

“It’s been amazing,” she said.

“We especially love the trips,” Blakenship said. “We got to go to Six Flags, and we get to go to Washington, D.C., in July.”

Blakenship is the daughter of Sonya and Robert Blakenship. She plans to attends A&M University in Huntsville and become a pediatric nurse.

Stallworth is the son of John and Beverly Stallworth. He plans to attend Auburn University and become a marine biologist.

Kondrat’yev is the daughter of Andre and Oksana Kondrat’yev. She plans to attend the University of Alabama and become a lawyer.