Saturday, July 6, 2013


Dear Students:

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of seeing a former Freshmen Honors English student.  For the purpose of this post, I will call her Miss Aspire.  Last semester, I encouraged several students to apply to ASU's Upward Bound program.  Traditionally, Upward Bound was exclusive to minority students from households where the parents did not attend college.  Since affirmative action policies have been revised, UB is now open to all races.

Only one former student applied to UB.   SHE LOVED IT!  Without going into specifics, Miss Aspire was not inspired by the literature/assignments in FHE.  Her mother and I  struggled to help her meet the necessary expectations.  By March, 2013, a lightbulb went off, and she finally rose to the occasion.  I was in absolute shock when her mother informed me that Miss Aspire was selected as the top English student in the program.  Miss Aspire stated, "Dr. Cobb, I now know what an all-nighter is.. . .   I got a large cup of coffee, drank it, and wrote my paper all night long.  My roommate helped me.  I was so thankful to have this experience.  Thank you."

It is important to note that Miss A. received two awards during her summer participation.  This fall, she will be attending a  weekly Saturday class at ASU.

I took a photo with Miss Aspire (Y'all *know* that my camera is always with me).  I emailed the picture to Miss A's mother, and I received the nicest response back:

Thanks Dr Cobb for encouraging Miss Aspire to apply for the Upward Bound program. I believe I was more excited than she was when we got the call that she was accepted into the program. I cried tears of joy!  I know Miss Aspire didn't share with you that she made straight A's in the program and was  also recognized as 2013 top Aspire student. 

Thank you Dr Cobb for taking time out to push Miss Aspire to her fullest potential. 

I believe that I talked to my coworkers everyday about Miss Aspire being at ASU. I'm a very proud mom.

Again words can't express how grateful I am to you.

My aim has always been to challenge my students.  I wanted to them to "stretch" so that they could surpass the "norm."  Miss Aspire did.