RSU Upward Bound Students Lend a Helping Hand in Picher

Rogers State University Upward Bound students recently traveled to Picher to tour the area damaged by the May 10 tornado and assist an area family devastated by the storm.

The group of more than 30 students spent much of the day helping a Picher-area family search nearby fields for personal belongings and clear up debris from the storm.

Upward Bound Director Mike Hogan said the day was an excellent opportunity for the Upward Bound scholars to actively participate in service learning.

“It was an amazing day. These kids now realize what damage a tornado can really do and what it leaves behind for those affected,” Hogan said.

The Upward Bound program provides students with a six-week summer stay on the Claremore campus while taking Upward Bound classes and participating in a wide range of activities and field trips, including the service learning trip to Picher.

In addition to helping tornado survivors, the Upward Bound students toured Picher, including the federal super-fund site and areas damaged by the May 10 tornado.

The trip fit perfectly with the disaster preparedness internship the students have in conjunction with Camp Fire as part of the Upward Bound program, said Kevin Abbott, Upward Bound instructor.

“During the past three weeks, these students have studied several different types of natural and man-made disasters. They have been trained by community emergency response experts and are now capable of preparing themselves and their community for a disaster situation,” Abbott said.

Upward Bound is a pre-college program funded by the U.S. Department of Education and hosted by RSU. Upward Bound is designed for high school students and helps them develop the personal and academic skills needed for success in college and careers.

More information about the Upward Bound Project at RSU is available by calling 343-7572.