Meet Your Upward Bound Team

A little history and some fun facts about the people that will be working with you while you navigate through high school and college applications.

I was born and raised in the mountains of rural Western Maine, where I spent most of my time outdoors, playing soccer and softball, skiing, golfing, and mastering some considerably unusual skills, like trapping snapping turtles and collecting tips for my parent’s seasonal wreath business. An Upward Bound student in high school, I went on to attend USM and worked for Upward Bound as a college student. I am in my 14th year working for a program I love and am passionate about. I have three kids and enjoy spending lots of time outdoors with them and my husband, enjoying our chickens, playing sports, and tending to the garden. I have a soft spot in my heart for chocolate, coffee, and a warm afternoon in the sun.

If you could take students on a field trip anywhere in the world, where would you take them and why? I would start by tackling a road trip across the U.S. There is so much to see, and the memories made on the drive alone would be well worth it!

What is your favorite movie? The Princess Bride: adventures, sword fighting, rodents of unusual size. Need I say more?

Hello, I look forward to getting to know you and watching you achieve your goals of attending and graduating college. Of course, I would much rather have this conversation in person, but until that day I thought I would tell you a little about myself. I am a graduate of Northern Vermont University at Johnson Vermont with a degree in psychology. I have worked with adolescents and their families ever since.
Either at an Outdoor wilderness school in Vermont or at Sweetser here in Maine. Over the last 15 years, I have been here at Trio Upward Bound. A fun fact about me is that for my honeymoon I hiked the Appalachian Trail. My three kids join us as we go on our adventures in Maine. When I was in H.S., I had to say my favorite thing to eat would be pizza and French fries. I have always LOVED the movies The Breakfast Club and The Princess Bride, and if you have not seen them, I highly recommend them. Lastly, if we were to take a trip get ready for a long plane ride as I have always wanted to go to Australia. So welcome to Upward Bound look forward to getting to know you!

I am a very competitive person who loves participating in and watching sports and enjoys indoor rock climbing as a main form of fitness. I recently earned my master’s degree in clinical counseling from the University of Southern Maine and enjoy putting my knowledge of the brain to use during student meetings. UB coworkers have voted me “Most likely to continually re-read the Harry Potter Series.” I like reading new books, and while fantasy and graphic novels (comic books) are my favorites, I have started dabbling in memoirs and nonfiction.

What is your favorite movie? “Quest for Camelot”

Did you pass your driving test on the first attempt? Yes, I did! Getting a license was a huge right of passage in my family, and it meant having the freedom to drive around by myself (as an introvert, sometimes I went for drives just to have time alone outside the house). I worked hard to purchase my first car and was ready to hit the road. I just had to pass the test. Starting at the age of 15 (you can’t get your permit until 16 in Massachusetts where I grew up), I paid attention to my parents when they drove and started asking questions. I even asked my parents to practice in empty parking lots, which they agreed to. With all of my studying, I passed on my first attempt and was very relieved and proud of myself.

My name is Joe Garrison, and I am the newest member of the Upward Bound team. Before this, I worked in public education while spending my summers doing conservation and trail work. I love living in Maine, and I enjoy camping, hiking, skiing, and the occasional game of golf. The Upward Bound program is great because it allows me to work with students from Maine and assist them on their journey through the college process and explore different opportunities with education and their careers.

If you could take students on a field trip anywhere in the world, where would you take them and why? If I could take students on a field trip anywhere, I would take them to Chicago to go on a river architectural boat tour. It is a very cool way to see the city and learn about its history and architecture of the city.

What is your favorite movie? My favorite movie is The Big Lebowski. It is definitely a comfort movie that I can watch over and over again.

I am a student at Husson University, currently in the Masters in School Counseling Track with a focus on career and college readiness. After graduating from the University of Maine I worked in schools as an education technician as well as a substitute teacher for a time before deciding on a future in school counseling.

What do you do in your freetime? I enjoy traveling, and reading science fiction and fantasy books.

I had never lived more than 40 min from either the hospital I was born in or my parents until I moved to Maine in 2009. Excitement, when I was young, included being outdoors when there were no chores to be done. Tree climbing, four-wheeling, dirt-biking around the neighborhood, and hanging out with friends. Being adventurous meant riding the bale elevator to the hayloft and jumping off without breaking your neck or swinging on a rope from hayloft to hayloft. Nowadays I define adventure a little differently. We travel, and I’ve finished my first degree here in Maine. It’s never too late, but it does get harder. I’m currently working on my second degree before committing to grad school. If I can do it, you can do it.

Did you pass your driving test on the first attempt? No, I did not. I found out that rolling through stop signs is not allowed. I learned to drive tractors and pickup trucks on empty country roads where roll-throughs happened all the time. I did, however, pass my test in a stick shift, Pontiac T-1000.

What was your favorite cafeteria food while you were in school? Macaroni and cheese. Not even the worst cafeteria worker could mess up boxed mac and cheese. It was always a safe bet. To this day, macaroni and cheese and a hot dog are my favorite meal.