Craft show at Paul D. Camp Community College will assist Upward Bound students

Published 4:53 pm Wednesday, October 10, 2018

by Wendy Harrison

The perfect gift may be closer than you think. Instead of going out of town to choose your holiday gifts, let the artisans bring items to you during the Seventh Annual Christmas in Our Hometown Craft Show.

The students regularly visit other college campuses in the area, such as Virginia Union University in Richmond. — Submitted

The show will be on Saturday, Oct. 27, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Paul D. Camp Community College Regional Workforce Development Center, 100 North College Drive in Franklin. Proceeds from vendor registration fees and raffles during this free event will benefit students in the Upward Bound program at the college. The program has recently begun a partnership with local crafter Shirley Billups, who has had successful shows in the past.

Upward Bound is a federally funded TRIO program that is focused on assisting low income and/or first generation high school students in grades 9 through 12 with successfully completing postsecondary education. Students receive assistance with tutoring, resources, support, college processes and the PDCCC Dual Enrollment program.

Incoming Upward Bound students Dinae Jones, from left, Layla Barnes, Alan Diggs Jr. and Tashera Barrett volunteer to help during graduation.

Additional funding from the indoor craft event will allow the program to provide even more significant experiences for the students.

“While academics is a priority, we like to ensure that our students are well-prepared in all aspects of college and life in general through activities, such as financial workshops, cultural experiences, college visits, summer component offerings and educational seminars,” said PDCCC Upward Bound Director Travis Parker.

Dual Enrollment Upward Bound students from left, Diamond Jones, Haleigh Andrew, Amari T. Long, Angel Padilla, Tatiyahna Blakely and Ashlyn Edwards at PDCCC in May, where they graduated from college before high school commencement.

Statistics show that the Upward Bound program has been effective in helping students succeed in their academic and career goals. Implemented in 2008, the program touts 65 current high school participants and another 60-plus participants currently enrolled full-time in college. There are eight participants currently enrolled in a master’s degree program and one in a PhD program.

“Thirty-six participants have completed an associate degree, 25 have earned a bachelor’s degree, and three have attained a master’s degree — all in less than nine years of the program’s inception,” said Parker. “That’s pretty significant.”

For more information about the PDCCC Upward Bound program, contact Barbara Strylowski at or 569-6764. Vendors are needed. Those interested in registering for a 10-by10 booth space may contact Billups at 620-5499.