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NMJC's Upward Bound Program Has New Director

NMJC's Upward Bound Program Has New Director photo 8/22/2014 3:27:16 p.m. - Hobbs, NM.  

New Mexico Junior College has hired Michael Neita as the Director of Upward Bound, a federally funded program that works with underserved high school students wanting to go to college. 

Neita has extensive experience managing Upward Bound from his years as director of the program at Roxbury Community College in Boston, Massachusetts, and Queens College in New York, where he developed an integrated science and math curriculum through the use of music. His passion helping students to succeed and realize their dreams of attending college is what made him a positive choice for NMJC’s program.

“When we saw his resume and success in the past, we knew we had found the right candidate for New Mexico Junior College”, says Phillip Roybal, Vice-President of Student Services.  “Michael believes that every student has the right to go to college, but most, being first-generation college-bound kids, don’t have the confidence or don’t know how to achieve their higher education goals.”

Upward Bound, which began in 1964, is a free program for high school students, 9th through 12th grade, who are either low income or a member of a family in which neither parent (or guardian) has completed a bachelor’s degree.  Neita and his staff work with the students every week to help them maintain a minimum 2.5 grade point average per every grading period, participate in a community service project per semester, and mentor them so they have the skills necessary to obtain their four-year degree.  In return the students receive a $40 stipend per month, and are taken on trips to visit various college campuses. 

“We are funded to serve  50 students each year in Upward Bound,” says Neita.  “These students are so enthusiastic for the chance to go to college.  Many are overcoming some real hardships, so we work closely with them to help them succeed.”

Neita holds a master’s degree in urban affairs from Boston University, and a bachelor’s in community planning from the University of Massachusetts.  He has worked in higher education most of his career.  “I am so excited to be at New Mexico Junior College.  It is truly an honor to work with these young students and help them see their potential.  We strive to build their confidence and break any barriers they may have to attending college.”

For more information:  Michael Neita, 575-492-2607 or mneita@nmjc.edu

New Mexico Junior College is a comprehensive community college promoting success through learning.

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