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About Our Upward Bound and Pre-College Staff

Director Talim Lessane Talim Lessane

  Prior to becoming director, Mr. Lessane worked as the Upward Bound Academic Coordinator
  for two years. Mr. Lessane has 12 years of pre-college and higher education experience. 
  Mr. Lessane was a college advisor for six years at both the University of Illinois at Chicago
  and Olive-Harvey College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago.
  Prior to that Mr. Lessane worked  as the Community School and 21st Century Community Learning Center
  coordinator for four years at Wendell Phillips Academy High School. He began his career with several years
  in youth work and family counseling in New York and Washington, DC. He holds a M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology
  from Howard University and a B.A. in Psychology from State University of New York at Albany.
  He is a firm believer in the value of education and the power of human potential.

Ashley Robinson

Ashley Robinson
Academic Coordinator

Ashley Robinson loves TRIO! As an alumnus of Upward Bound and Student Support Services and a former counselor with Educational Talent Search, she is living proof that TRIO WORKS! Ashley graduated from the University of South Carolina with a B.A. in Political Science and has spent the last three years helping high school students realize their goals of becoming successful college students.  She is dedicated to helping students understand their potential and utilize the resources around them to create their own unique success stories.

Franchell Smalls

Franchell Smalls-Lewis
Academic School Counselor

Franchell is a “born and raised” Charleston native.  She is a graduate of Burke High School, Class of 2006.  She obtained her bachelors from Columbia College (Columbia, SC) in Psychology with a minor in Child and Family Studies.  From there she completed a year of National Service in AmeriCorps through the worldwide organization City Year Inc. that focuses on decreasing the High School Drop-out Rate.  She has also worked for the Charleston County School District before joining the Upward Bound Team.Franchell says “I am so excited to be a part of such an esteemed program that gives so much to our community. These students are willing to take the extra mile to prepare them for their future post-secondary, and beyond, and I am willing and able to help them achieve their goals together with administrators, school counselors and parents.”

Muhammad Rasheed

Muhammad Rasheed
Office Manager

"Witnessing high school students develop into the future leaders of tomorrow is an empowering experience. As a former Upward Bound graduate myself, I know that Upward Bound's academic program and cultural exposure introduces high school students to endless career opportunities. The Upward Bound staff, community, students, and parents are committed to "laying the foundation that leads to success."

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