T’Ebony Torain, Director

T’Ebony Torain is the Director of Upward Bound and GO College at Kentucky State University.   She has worked with Upward Bound since 2008 as an Academic Counselor and stepped into the role of Director of both Upward Bound and GO College Programs in 2013. She believes in the power of TRIO programs such as Upward Bound, Educational Talent Search, Student Support Services, etc. in helping students attend and graduate from college.  A product of a TRIO program herself, Ms. Torain was a participant of the Ronald McNair program which she credits in helping her achieve success as an undergraduate student.

Receiving her undergraduate degree at Fisk University with a major in History and Masters in Public Administration at Kentucky State University in 2011, she has a true joy and appreciation for the power of education and preparing youth from at risk population to succeed in their future.  T’Ebony has received numerous awards, honors, and accomplishments; such as graduating Fisk with a grade point average of 3.64 and graduating with a 3.91 from Kentucky State University’s Masters of Public Administration program.

However, she is most proud of growing in her faith in Christ and helping students graduate from high school and attend college. Ms. Torain is a part of KAEOPP (Kentucky Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel) where she served as Service Member at Large for two years.

Ayana David-Jacobs, Academic Counselor

Ayana David-Jacobs is the Academic Counselor for Upward Bound at Kentucky State University. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies, concentrating in Elementary Education in 2013. A strong advocate for young people from diverse backgrounds and different learning abilities; which includes first generation, low income and at- risk youth. Ayana believes “what the mind can conceive, it can achieve” – Napoleon Hill.

She has a strong desire to build young people academically, personally and socially. Her goal as the Academic Counselor is to obtain resources to engage and further the students in their academics, as well as helping them become well rounded adults in society. Overall, Ayana believes that motivating the youth is a must because they are tomorrow’s leaders and the key to achieving greatness.

She plans to pursue her graduate degree in Administration to further help the youth in any way that she can. She believes that all our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. She owes all of her accomplishments to her faith, family, and friends that have continually motivated and supported her throughout her life.

JoAnn Webber, Administrative Assistant

JoAnn Webber is the Administrative Assistant for the Upward Bound program. She has twenty-four years of experience with the State Department of Corrections were she has seen first-hand what happens to our youth if not guided to succeed and further their education. She also worked for Bluegrass Community and Technical College for four years giving her experience with college students and high school students in the Nursing and Nurse Aide program. Her understanding of the obstacles that students may face while pursuing a higher education is an asset to the program.

She has experience working with youth as a Director of Church youth group and coach for City of Frankfort youth softball league for several years. The best experience in her life was raising two daughters as a single parent. She now enjoys watching seven grandchildren as they grow, attend school, sports and events in the circle of life as she had once watched her own children.

Her administrative duties for the program include providing warm customer service, meeting the needs of the students and parents, using computer application skills and working effectively and efficiently with the Upward Bound staff.

She believes that the Upward Bound program is a great opportunity to assist students who otherwise may not have the opportunity to achieve their hopes and dreams. If the student will work hard they will be given the tools to accomplish those dreams while in the program. Her favorite quote is “To reach a port, we must Sail-Sail, not tie at anchor-Sail, not drift.” She believes that all students can succeed if they “Sail”!

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