The UA Upward Bound program is promoting cultural diversity for high school students throughout the summer, including an International Cuisine Festival that placed students in an array of cultures Thursday evening.
“It’s a way to promote and encourage students to seek outside of their culture and introduce them to different types of foods and present them with a variety of workshops from all different countries,” said Ena Bolden, academic counselor for Upward Bound.
Bolden met with Chartwells, who catered the dinner, to discuss different recipes hoping to wet the palette of the students with different dishes from different countries, she said.
“We are trying to provide them to taste different cuisines, so that they can get a taste for it and want to do that on their own,” Bolden said. “We are promoting diversity in their everyday lives.”
Four unique workshops were also offered to the students. African education/dance group Afrique Aya performed then taught students a traditional dance and drumming.
The International Students and Scholars office collaborated with Upward Bound for the other workshops. Three graduate students gave a presentation about their native countries of Macedonia, Indonesia and Vietnam, providing historical and geographical information as well as activities for the students.
“It’s education on etiquette when dealing with someone from a different culture,” Bolden said. “Some of these students don’t understand why people from different cultures take off their shoes when they enter a room.”
Upward Bound is a six-week, pre-college program for high school students in Benton and Washington counties designed to develop the essential skills, study habits, and discipline necessary for success in college.
The program also provides exposure to a wide variety of academic, cultural and social opportunities.
Last year, the International Cuisine Festival won the UA Student Affairs Diversity.