The University of North Texas at Dallas Upward Bound Program has recently made several key hires to its staff and is also building connections in high schools across the region, led by Director of TRIO and Precollegiate Programs Nakia Douglas.

Douglas said the programs of Upward Bound will prepare high school students for admission to institutions of higher learning and success in the college environment through academic enrichment, enhanced cognitive and critical thinking, and interpersonal development through social interactions.

A summer collegiate immersion experience is also planned on the UNT Dallas campus. “We’re creating a foundation for students to not only have success in high school, but more importantly pursue college and ultimately graduate from college,” Douglas said.

The UNT Dallas Upward Bound staff has recently added Program Managers Anacleto Contreras and Mashaela Stripling, as well as Intake Specialist Chazmen Kidd.

“Coming here, seeing the buildings, and how the university feels like a home away from home for the students and the employees is what led me to apply for this position,” said Kidd.

The Federal TRIO Programs, including Upward Bound, are Federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. Douglas is a Dallas native and graduate of Lincoln High School, and he attended Upward Bound programs as a student.

He has been the principal at A. Maceo Smith High School, Maynard H. Jackson Middle School, and Maynard H. Jackson Vanguard School. At each school, he aligned the district, campus, and community resources while creating a supportive environment for students, faculty, staff, and parents.

In addition to serving as a principal at an elementary, middle and high school, Douglas was the DISD Executive Director of the South Oak Cliff Feeder Pattern and responsible for supporting the principals, faculty and staff at 12 campuses. Douglas is also the founding principal of the Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy (BOMLA).